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load (lōd)
a. A weight or mass that is supported: the load on an arch.
b. The overall force to which a structure is subjected in supporting a weight or mass or in resisting externally applied forces.
a. Something that is carried, as by a vehicle, person, or animal: a load of firewood.
b. The quantity that is or can be carried at one time.
a. The share of work allocated to or required of a person, machine, group, or organization.
b. The demand for services or performance made on a machine or system.
4. The amount of material that can be inserted into a device or machine at one time: The washing machine has a full load.
a. A single charge of ammunition for a firearm.
b. Vulgar Slang An ejaculation of semen.
a. A mental weight or burden: Good news took a load off my mind.
b. A responsibility regarded as oppressive.
7. The external mechanical resistance against which a machine acts.
8. Electricity
a. The power output of a generator or power plant.
b. A device or the resistance of a device to which power is delivered.
9. A fee that a mutual fund charges to an investor when the investor purchases or redeems shares in the fund.
10. often loads Informal A great number or amount: There were loads of people at the parade.
11. Derogatory Slang A heavy or overweight person.
12. Genetic load.
v. load·ed, load·ing, loads
a. To put (something) into or onto a structure or conveyance: loading grain onto a train.
b. To put something into or onto (a structure or conveyance): loaded the tanker with crude oil.
2. To provide or fill nearly to overflowing; heap: loaded the table with food.
3. To give worries or difficulties to; weigh down; burden: was loaded with responsibility.
4. To insert (a necessary material) into a device: loaded rounds into the rifle.
5. To insert a necessary material into: loaded the printer with paper.
6. Games To make (dice) heavier on one side by adding weight.
7. To charge with additional meanings, implications, or emotional import: loaded the question to trick the witness.
8. To raise the power demand in (an electrical circuit), as by adding resistance.
9. To increase (an insurance premium or mutual fund share price) by adding expenses or sale costs.
10. Baseball To have or put runners on (first, second, and third base).
11. Computers To transfer (data) from a storage device into a computer's memory.
1. To receive a load: Container ships can load rapidly.
2. To charge a firearm with ammunition.
3. To put or place a load into or onto a structure, device, or conveyance.
4. Computers To be transferred from a storage device into a computer's memory.
get a load of
1. Slang To look at; notice.
2. To listen to: Get a load of this!
have a load on
Slang To be intoxicated.
take a load off
To sit or lie down.

[Middle English lode, alteration (influenced by laden, to load) of lade, course, way, from Old English lād; see leit- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.