onus

Take the noun, onus, as a formal word for responsibility or obligation. If your teacher assigns onus as a vocabulary word, it puts the onus on you to find out what it means.

Onus is a formal or sophisticated way to say "responsibility" or "duty." It sounds a little like the unrelated word owner, so think about the person with onus as owner of the responsibility. If the onus is on you to organize a fund raiser, you have to set the whole thing up. Have you ever heard the legal term onus probandi? It means the burden of proof, which requires the accuser to prove the case against the accused.

Definitions of onus
  1. noun
    a burdensome or difficult concern
    synonyms: burden, encumbrance, incumbrance, load
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    types:
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    dead weight
    an oppressive encumbrance
    fardel
    a burden (figuratively in the form of a bundle)
    imposition
    an uncalled-for burden
    pill
    something unpleasant or offensive that must be tolerated or endured
    type of:
    concern, headache, vexation, worry
    something or someone that causes anxiety; a source of unhappiness
Word Family