Beast of burden

Beast of burden
Burden Bur"den (b[^u]"d'n), n. [Written also burthen.] [OE. burden, burthen, birthen, birden, AS. byr[eth]en; akin to Icel. byr[eth]i, Dan. byrde, Sw. b["o]rda, G. b["u]rde, OHG. burdi, Goth. ba['u]r[thorn]ei, fr. the root of E. bear, AS. beran, Goth. bairan. [root]92. See 1st {Bear}.] 1. That which is borne or carried; a load. [1913 Webster]

Plants with goodly burden bowing. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. That which is borne with labor or difficulty; that which is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive. [1913 Webster]

Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone, To all my friends a burden grown. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

3. The capacity of a vessel, or the weight of cargo that she will carry; as, a ship of a hundred tons burden. [1913 Webster]

4. (Mining) The tops or heads of stream-work which lie over the stream of tin. [1913 Webster]

5. (Metal.) The proportion of ore and flux to fuel, in the charge of a blast furnace. --Raymond. [1913 Webster]

6. A fixed quantity of certain commodities; as, a burden of gad steel, 120 pounds. [1913 Webster]

7. A birth. [Obs. & R.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Beast of burden}, an animal employed in carrying burdens.

{Burden of proof} [L. onus probandi] (Law), the duty of proving a particular position in a court of law, a failure in the performance of which duty calls for judgment against the party on whom the duty is imposed. [1913 Webster]

Syn: {Burden}, {Load}.

Usage: A burden is, in the literal sense, a weight to be borne; a load is something laid upon us to be carried. Hence, when used figuratively, there is usually a difference between the two words. Our burdens may be of such a nature that we feel bound to bear them cheerfully or without complaint. They may arise from the nature of our situation; they may be allotments of Providence; they may be the consequences of our errors. What is upon us, as a load, we commonly carry with greater reluctance or sense of oppression. Men often find the charge of their own families to be a burden; but if to this be added a load of care for others, the pressure is usually serve and irksome. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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