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These nouns denote something onerous or troublesome: the burden of a guilty conscience; considered the television an affliction that destroyed the spirit of community; a poorly built home that became his albatross; an unhappy marriage that became a cross to bear; a routine duty that turned into a millstone; a troublemaker who is a trial to the teacher; suffered many tribulations in rising from poverty. See Also Synonyms at substance.
burden, refrain, chorus - The burden is the main theme or gist of a speech, book, or argument—or the refrain or chorus of a song.
Burdena fixed quantity of a commodity; a heavy load; the chorus of a song. See also charge, load, trust.
albatross around the neck Burden, weight; any inhibiting encumbrance. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), the slayer of the albatross—a bird of good omen to sailors—was punished by having the dead bird hung about his neck. Though within the context of the poem the dead albatross symbolizes guilt and punishment for sin, its contemporary use rarely carries this connotation. Often an albatross around one’s neck is no more than a burdensome annoyance, a “drag” that inhibits one’s freedom or lessens one’s pleasure.
ball and chain A wife; one’s girl friend or mistress; any person perceived as a burden or hindrance. This figurative meaning of ball and chain is derived from the iron ball which is secured by a chain to the leg of a prisoner in order to prevent escape. Insofar as having a wife inhibits one’s freedom, this slang expression is apt
He deliberately attempted to commit suicide by askin’ me “How’s the ball and chain?” meanin’ my wife. (Collier’s, June 25, 1921)
cross to bear A painful burden or affliction; an oppressive encumbrance. The expression derives from the heavy cross which Jesus was forced to carry up Mount Calvary, and upon which he was subsequently crucified. Though the phrase most often applies to serious illness, pain, or handicaps, it is frequently extended to include any bothersome annoyance, any unpleasant person or circumstance that must be endured.
a millstone around the neck A heavy burden, an onus, a cross. A millstone is either of a pair of round, weighty stones between which grain and other like materials are ground in a mill.
The mill-stone intended for the necks of those vermin … the dealers in corn, was found to fall upon the heads of the consumers. (Jeremy Bentham, Defence of Usury, 1787)
The metaphor is said to have been suggested by the Biblical passage (Matthew 18:6) in which Jesus warns those who would corrupt the pure and humble nature of children:
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
a monkey on one’s back A depressing, often controlling burden; a cross to bear; an addiction or dependence. This phrase may be a variation of the obsolete a turkey on one’s back, but the implication remains the same: an addict carries an extra burden, one demanding a large, if not total, commitment of time, effort, and money to support.
Having a monkey on your back … always worked out logically to be the first purpose in a junkie’s life. (E. R. Johnson, God Keepers, 1970)
white elephant An unwanted or useless possession that is difficult to dispose of; a possession that costs more to keep and maintain than it is worth. This expression probably alludes to the albino elephants which were once considered sacred in Siam (now Thailand). Since an elephant of any color is inconvenient and expensive to own, it was purportedly a custom for a king to bestow one of these unique white elephants as a gift upon a courtier or other person whom he wished to subject to financial ruin. In the United States, tag sales, garage sales, and rummage sales are often appropriately nicknamed white elephant sales.
Past participle: burdened
|Noun||1.||burden - an onerous or difficult concern; "the burden of responsibility"; "that's a load off my mind"|
headache, worry, vexation, concern - something or someone that causes anxiety; a source of unhappiness; "New York traffic is a constant concern"; "it's a major worry"
dead weight - an oppressive encumbrance
fardel - a burden (figuratively in the form of a bundle)
imposition - an uncalled-for burden; "he listened but resented the imposition"
pill - something unpleasant or offensive that must be tolerated or endured; "his competitor's success was a bitter pill to take"
|2.||burden - weight to be borne or conveyed |
burthen - a variant of `burden'
dead load - a constant load on a structure (e.g. a bridge) due to the weight of the supported structure itself
millstone - any load that is difficult to carry
overload - an electrical load that exceeds the available electrical power
weight - an artifact that is heavy
|3.||burden - the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work|
|4.||burden - the central idea that is expanded in a document or discourse|
|Verb||1.||burden - weight down with a load |
overburden - load with excessive weight
plumb - weight with lead
charge - fill or load to capacity; "charge the wagon with hay"
saddle - load or burden; encumber; "he saddled me with that heavy responsibility"
|2.||burden - impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to; "He charged her with cleaning up all the files over the weekend"|
overburden - burden with too much work or responsibility
bear down - exert a force or cause a strain upon; "This tax bears down on the lower middle class"
adjure - command solemnly
the burden of proof lies with him → él lleva la carga de la prueba
to be a burden to sb → ser una carga para algn
he carries a heavy burden → tiene que cargar con una gran responsabilidad
to make sb's life a burden → amargar la vida a algn
to be a burden to sb, to be a burden on sb → être un fardeau pour qn
to burden sb with sth [+ problem, news] → accabler qn de qch
the burden of proof lies with him → spetta a lui l'onere della prova
to be a burden to sb → essere di peso a qn