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- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈbɝðn̩/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbɜːðn̩/
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)ðən
burthen (plural burthens)
- (obsolete or historical, nautical) The tonnage of a ship based on the number of tuns of wine that it could carry in its holds.
- 1940 December, Charles E. Lee, “The Wenford Mineral Line”, in Railway Magazine, pages 647, from the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, October 3, 1834:
- [...] and thence to Calstock, a town on the Tamar, which is washed by the sea flowing through Plymouth Sound and Hamoaze, and which place vessels of 200 tons burthen can reach at spring tides—[...].
- Archaic form of .
- 1798, William Wordsworth, Lines written 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,
- 1817 (date written), [Jane Austen], Persuasion; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. […], volumes (please specify |volume=III or IV), London: John Murray, […], 20 December 1817 (indicated as 1818), →OCLC:
- 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.
- 1848, John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. […], volume I, London: John W[illiam] Parker, […], →OCLC, book I (Production), page 19:
- In some cases the conquering state contented itself with imposing a tribute on the vanquished: who, being, in consideration of that burthen, freed from the expense and trouble of their own military and naval protection, might enjoy under it a considerable share of economical prosperity, […]
- Archaic form of .
- 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, London, Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, →OCLC:
- he 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.