verb1 a : to load or be loaded (as with cargo) b : to put or place as a load especially for shipment c : to load heavily or oppressively 2 : to take up (a liquid) with or as if with a ladle or dipper
“There were no pictures on the walls but here and there boughs laden with heavy-petalled flowers spread widely against them.” — From Virginia Woolf’s 1913 novel The Voyage Out
“We all hold on to objects that are laden with our memories.” — From a book review by Frederick J. Augustyn Jr. in Library Journal Reviews, October 1, 2013
Did you know?
Most of us know “lade” in its past participle form “laden,” as shown in our examples. Likely also familiar is the adjective “laden,” best distinguished from the verb by its placement before nouns, as in “laden ships” or “a laden heart.” (The adjective is also at work in hyphenated terms like “sugar-laden.”) “Lade” has been in use for more than a millennium and formerly had a nominal counterpart: the noun “lade” meaning “load” or “cargo” dates from around the same time but hasn’t been in use since the early 16th century. A few short decades after it faded from active use, the noun “lading” took on the same meaning. “Lading” is still in use and appears most often in “bill of lading”—a term referring to a document that lists goods being shipped and specifies the terms of their transport.