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.
      ‘the courts became overburdened with large numbers of relatively trivial offenses’
      ‘overburdened teachers’
      • ‘He said the measures would place further pressure on the already overburdened public hospital system.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Probation officers that I have dealt with are overburdened, overworked and burned out.’
      • ‘Analyzing and grading writing can be difficult for teachers who are already overburdened with their various education and non-education assignments.’
      • ‘Police are poorly paid, investigators and prosecutors are too few and overburdened, and there are not enough courts, judges, or jails.’
      • ‘Several of the administrators were also new, and just as overburdened by the remaining seven teacher vacancies.’
      • ‘It is little wonder then that officials have long pushed for mergers to clean up the overburdened system.’
      • ‘Inmates feel isolated and are already overburdened by the tension of courts and hearings.’
      • ‘The courts are not overburdened with applications in this field.’
      • ‘As the nation's overburdened and underfunded emergency rooms are pushed to the brink, our medical safety net is starting to unravel.’
      • ‘This is an indication of how overburdened our courts are.’
      • ‘True, teachers in the public school system are often overburdened, but many still do a great teaching job.’
      • ‘When we are all overburdened with worries in our daily life, a real entertainer is a welcome relief.’
      • ‘These courts are already overburdened with cases and the influx of new lawsuits will result in cases taking many years to reach trial.’
      • ‘It handles the material so well that the student is not overburdened.’
      • ‘Such bad bureaucracy weighs heavily on already overburdened parents.’
      • ‘Physicians are overburdened by paperwork and government regulations.’
      • ‘While the idea of people telling their stories is attractive in theory, in practice the courts are overburdened as it is.’
      • ‘According to his account, he was overburdened and overwhelmed by the tasks imposed on him, many of which he regarded as pointless.’
      work, exert, push, tax
      View synonyms


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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The current planning application provides for the Moira site to be restored by filling with overburden from mineral operations at Albion.’
    • ‘These indicate that the thermal alteration is due to thrust loading and not to pre-thrust sedimentary overburden.’
    • ‘Localized high-magnitude overpressures are also observed within pressure compartments in the deltaic overburden in the inner shelf.’
    • ‘Underneath the muskeg is a layer of sand, rock and overburden, a clay-like material.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Equipment was small and most miners removed all overburden by washing it down the creeks.’
    • ‘One bucket-wheel excavator removes the relatively thin overburden and exposes the coal seam.’
    • ‘Calculations suggest that 1,000 tons of overburden was removed to create a single shaft, which yielded approximately 8 tons of nodular flint.’
    • ‘Conversely, in an extensional basin, older strata would be expected to develop higher grades beneath an overburden of younger rocks.’
    • ‘In-situ methods make more economic sense for deposits covered by more than 75 m of overburden.’
    • ‘Another key component to a heavy-equipment fleet is the machine that gets overburden off the site.’
    • ‘The overburden comprises sands and shales with thin coal interbeds, which passes upwards into sandstones and shales without coals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Overpressured prodelta shales may act as a decoupling zone between the structural basement and deltaic overburden.’
    • ‘Continued compaction by overburden then converts lignite into bituminous coal and finally, anthracite coal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1An 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.’