From Middle English burden, birden, burthen, birthen, byrthen, from Old English byrden, byrþen (“burden, load, weight; charge, duty”), from Proto-Germanic *burþinjō (“burden”), from Proto-Germanic *burþį̄ (“burden”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer- (“to carry, bear”). Cognate with Scots burthine (“burden”), Middle Low German borden (“burden”), Middle High German bürden (“burden, load”). Related to Old English byrd (“burden”), German Bürde (“burden, weight”), Danish byrde (“burden”), Swedish börde (“burden”), Icelandic byrði (“burden”).
burden (plural burdens)
- A heavy load.
- 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
- There were four or five men in the vault already, and I could hear more coming down the passage, and guessed from their heavy footsteps that they were carrying burdens.
- A responsibility, onus.
- A cause of worry.
- Arabic: حمل (ar) (ḥiml) m, عبء (ar) (ʿibʾ) m
- Armenian: բեռ (hy) (beṙ)
- Bulgarian: товар (bg) (továr) m
- Catalan: càrrega (ca) f, carga (ca)
- Mandarin: 負荷 (cmn), 负荷 (cmn) (fùhè)
- Czech: břemeno (cs) n, zatížení (cs) n, náklad (cs) m, zátěž (cs) f
- Dutch: last (nl) m
- Finnish: kuorma (fi), taakka (fi)
- French: charge (fr) f, fardeau (fr) m
- German: Belastung (de) f, Last (de) f
- Ancient: ἄχθος n
- Hebrew: נטל (net'el) m
- Hungarian: teher (hu)
- Italian: carico (it) m, fardello (it)
- Japanese: 積み荷 (ja) (つみに, tsumini)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
burden (third-person singular simple present burdens, present participle burdening, simple past and past participle burdened)
- (transitive) To encumber with a burden (in any of the noun senses of the word).
From Old French bordon. See bourdon.
burden (plural burdens)
- (music) A phrase or theme that recurs at the end of each verse in a folk song or ballad; the drone of a bagpipe.
- 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 1 scene 2
- [...] Foot it featly here and there; / And, sweet sprites, the burden bear.
- 1846, E. A. Poe, The Philosophy of Composition
- As commonly used, the refrain, or burden, not only is limited to lyric verse, but depends for its impression upon the force of monotone - both in sound and thought.
- (obsolete) Theme, core idea.