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A burden is a generic term referring to a restriction on a use or activity. Often, the term arises in property law. For instance, real property may carry an intangible burden in the form of covenants or easements. These burdens generally prohibit certain activities, impose building restrictions, and obligate owners to perform certain duties. In the realm of constitutional law, the Dormant Commerce Clause precludes states from burdening interstate commerce. In this context, a burden is generally a state law that unduly restricts the free flow of goods and services between states.

[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]