Definition of overburden in English:



  • 1 Load (someone) with too many things to carry.

    ‘they were overburdened with luggage’
    1. 1.1Give (someone) more work or pressure than they can deal with.
      ‘ministers are overburdened with engagements’
      • ‘It is little wonder then that officials have long pushed for mergers to clean up the overburdened system.’
      • ‘When we are all overburdened with worries in our daily life, a real entertainer is a welcome relief.’
      • ‘While the idea of people telling their stories is attractive in theory, in practice the courts are overburdened as it is.’
      • ‘Analyzing and grading writing can be difficult for teachers who are already overburdened with their various education and non-education assignments.’
      • ‘This is an indication of how overburdened our courts are.’
      • ‘It handles the material so well that the student is not overburdened.’
      • ‘Police are poorly paid, investigators and prosecutors are too few and overburdened, and there are not enough courts, judges, or jails.’
      • ‘The courts are not overburdened with applications in this field.’
      • ‘At a time when federal courts are already overburdened, it will make case backlogs even longer.’
      • ‘For overburdened middle managers and front-line employees, the pressure to complete day-to-day tasks can make learning the ins and outs of a new system feel like nothing but a hassle.’
      • ‘These courts are already overburdened with cases and the influx of new lawsuits will result in cases taking many years to reach trial.’
      • ‘As the nation's overburdened and underfunded emergency rooms are pushed to the brink, our medical safety net is starting to unravel.’
      • ‘Physicians are overburdened by paperwork and government regulations.’
      • ‘He said the measures would place further pressure on the already overburdened public hospital system.’
      • ‘Such bad bureaucracy weighs heavily on already overburdened parents.’
      • ‘True, teachers in the public school system are often overburdened, but many still do a great teaching job.’
      • ‘Probation officers that I have dealt with are overburdened, overworked and burned out.’
      • ‘According to his account, he was overburdened and overwhelmed by the tasks imposed on him, many of which he regarded as pointless.’
      • ‘Several of the administrators were also new, and just as overburdened by the remaining seven teacher vacancies.’
      • ‘Inmates feel isolated and are already overburdened by the tension of courts and hearings.’
      work, exert, push, tax
      View synonyms


  • 1[mass noun] Rock or soil overlying a mineral deposit, archaeological site, or other underground feature.

    ‘the kaolin is mined by removing the overburden and digging a pit’
    • ‘Contracts have been let to South Australian firms for site preparation, removal of overburden and the installation of a major mining and heavy mineral separation plant.’
    • ‘Calculations suggest that 1,000 tons of overburden was removed to create a single shaft, which yielded approximately 8 tons of nodular flint.’
    • ‘Another key component to a heavy-equipment fleet is the machine that gets overburden off the site.’
    • ‘Equipment was small and most miners removed all overburden by washing it down the creeks.’
    • ‘For both the sill and the sedimentary overburden, reduction in thickness since intrusion may have been around 10%, with comparable increases in present-day densities.’
    • ‘One bucket-wheel excavator removes the relatively thin overburden and exposes the coal seam.’
    • ‘The workings were confined to several, steep-sided gorges from which the miners extracted fibre with some difficulty, mostly either by blast-removing overburden to expose benches or by underground mining.’
    • ‘It occurred to Greene that this channel resembled the area several hundred yards downstream where they had been digging - an area now filled with rock and buried under 4 feet of overburden.’
    • ‘The current planning application provides for the Moira site to be restored by filling with overburden from mineral operations at Albion.’
    • ‘Localized high-magnitude overpressures are also observed within pressure compartments in the deltaic overburden in the inner shelf.’
    • ‘Continued compaction by overburden then converts lignite into bituminous coal and finally, anthracite coal.’
    • ‘In-situ methods make more economic sense for deposits covered by more than 75 m of overburden.’
    • ‘Features shared by the Lake Hope structures and many physical diapiric models are local ductile extension and thinning of the overburden overlying anticlinal ridges of the active boundary.’
    • ‘The overburden comprises sands and shales with thin coal interbeds, which passes upwards into sandstones and shales without coals.’
    • ‘It is proposed that evaporite dissolution led to the collapse of the weakly lithified overburden, and this deformed with a series of concentric extensional faults.’
    • ‘Underneath the muskeg is a layer of sand, rock and overburden, a clay-like material.’
    • ‘All topsoil and vegetative overburden shall be removed and separately stored along the north eastern boundary of the site to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority.’
    • ‘Overpressured prodelta shales may act as a decoupling zone between the structural basement and deltaic overburden.’
    • ‘These indicate that the thermal alteration is due to thrust loading and not to pre-thrust sedimentary overburden.’
    • ‘Conversely, in an extensional basin, older strata would be expected to develop higher grades beneath an overburden of younger rocks.’
  • 2An excessive burden.

    ‘an overburden of costs’
    • ‘The disease has led to a huge orphan crisis, creating an overburden on an already stressed medical system.’
    • ‘The economic cost of these factors could be reflected by an overburden of social medical response that could eventually deny health services for the masses, in many nations.’