From (etyl) burden, birden, burthen, birthen, byrthen, from (etyl) byrden, .
* burthen (archaic)
A heavy load.
* 1898 , , (Moonfleet) Chapter 4
A responsibility, onus.
A cause of worry; that which is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive.
* Jonathan Swift
- 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 .
The capacity of a vessel, or the weight of cargo that she will carry.
- Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone, / To all my friends a burden grown.
(mining) The tops or heads of stream-work which lie over the stream of tin.
(metalworking) The proportion of ore and flux to fuel, in the charge of a blast furnace.
- a ship of a hundred tons burden
A fixed quantity of certain commodities.
(obsolete, rare) A birth.
- A burden of gad steel is 120 pounds.
- That bore thee at a burden two fair sons
To encumber with a burden (in any of the noun senses of the word ).
* Bible, 2 Corinthians viii. 13
- to burden a nation with taxes
- I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened .
To impose, as a load or burden; to lay or place as a burden (something heavy or objectionable).
- My burdened heart would break.
- It is absurd to burden this act on Cromwell.
* beast of burden
From (etyl) bordon. See bourdon.
(music) A phrase or theme that recurs at the end of each verse in a folk song or ballad.
* 1610 , , act 1 scene 2
* 1846 ,
- [...] Foot it featly here and there; / And, sweet sprites, the burden bear.
The drone of a bagpipe.
- 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.