Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search




burthen (plural burthens)

  1. (obsolete, nautical) The tonnage of a ship based on the number of tuns of wine that it could carry in its holds.
  2. Archaic spelling of burden.
    • 1798, William Wordsworth, Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey, lines 36-43:
      Nor less, I trust,
      To them I may have owed another gift,
      Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
      In which the burthen of the mystery,
      In which the heavy and the weary weight
      Of all this unintelligible world,
      Is lightened:
    • 1817, Jane Austen, Persuasion:
      It was with a daughter of Mr Shepherd, who had returned, after an unprosperous marriage, to her father's house, with the additional burthen of two children.
    • c. 1860, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Husbandsmen, lines 4, 6-7:
      Bidding them grope their way out and bestir,
      (...) though the worst
      Burthen of heat was theirs and the dry thirst


burthen (third-person singular simple present burthens, present participle burthening, simple past and past participle burthened)

  1. Archaic spelling of burden.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island:
      The other men were variously burthened; some carrying picks and shovels - for that had been the very first necessary they brought ashore from the Hispaniola - others laden with pork, bread, and brandy for the midday meal.