Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. Literally, dice that have each been weighted to one side so as to increase the odds of their landing on the opposite number. When they found out we'd been using loaded dice, they threw us out of the club and told us to never come back.
2. By extension, a means of gaining an advantage through the exploitation or manipulation of rules or regulations. At the height of the economic boom, investment bankers were using sub-prime mortgages with falsified credit ratings as loaded dice to make as much money as possible.
A word that carries additional emotional weight or significance—whether positive or negative—beyond its literal meaning. If you want to get into politics, you should always avoid using loaded words that might offend someone unintentionally.
To organize something (often a contract or itinerary) so that it is most productive at the start and tapers off during the duration. My agent front loaded my contract so that I would make the most money right now, in the prime of my career. Why did you front load our trip so much? I'm exhausted after three days of touring the city!
Words that are used in an attempt to sway someone, often by appealing to their emotions. Once you're able to recognize loaded language, you'll be far less likely to be fooled by commercials and politicians.
play with loaded dice
1. Literally, to use dice that have been weighted to one side so as to increase the odds of their landing on the opposite number. When they found out we'd been playing with loaded dice, they threw us out of the club and told us to never come back.
2. By extension, to gain an advantage through the exploitation or manipulation of rules or regulations. At the height of the economic boom, investment bankers were playing with loaded dice by using sub-prime mortgages with falsified credit ratings to make as much money as possible.
the dice are loaded against (one)
A positive outcome for one is unlikely due to circumstances perceived as unfortunate or unlucky. I have a record, so when it comes to finding employment, the dice are loaded against me.
loaded for bear
1. Angry and, as a result, usually ready to fight or argue with someone. (The phrase originated in hunting.) That new job makes him miserable—he comes home every day loaded for bear.
2. Prepared to confront or handle a particular situation. After studying all night, I'm loaded for bear—bring on the exam!
3. Drunk. Do you remember last night at the bar at all? You were really loaded for bear!
To eat large quantities of carbohydrates, as one would typically do in preparation for running a marathon. "Carbo" is short for "carbohydrate." You better start carbo loading now if you want to make it through the race on Saturday.
the dice are loaded
A positive outcome is unlikely due to circumstances perceived as unfortunate or unlucky. I have a record, so when it comes to finding employment, the dice are loaded.
load (someone or something) down
1. To force someone, something, or an animal to carry a great deal of weight. Make sure there's a train station near the hotel—we don't want to be walking across town loaded down with suitcases. We loaded down the truck with as much many barrels of oil as it could handle and got the heck out of there. Be careful not to load the mules down with anything you don't need on the trip.
2. To overburden someone with work, assignments, or tasks. I hate the way schools are loading students down with so much homework these days. You've been loaded down with way too much at work lately. I think it's time you took a vacation.
load (someone or something) up
1. To force someone or something to carry or hold a very large or heavy amount of something. When I asked my friend for some book recommendations, she loaded me up with a whole stack of them. He went up to the table and loaded up his plate with a huge mound of food.
2. To fill some form of transportation with its intended cargo. Come in and eat your lunch once you're finished loading up the car with our bags. It looks like criminals had loaded the boat up with marijuana hidden in soup cans.
load up on (something)
To eat or drink something until one feels full. We're going to be eating dinner soon, so don't load up on bread. The kids loaded up on soda before we left the house, so now everyone needs to use the toilet.
A question that carries additional emotional weight or significance—whether positive or negative—beyond its literal or basic meaning. A: "Tell me, how would you describe your relationship with your mother?" B: "Wow, what a loaded question!"
1. To get onto or into something, especially a vehicle, all at the same time. Make sure you take a head count after all the kids have loaded onto the bus. The passengers began loading onto the cruise ship, blissfully unaware of the horror that awaited them in the middle of the ocean.
2. To usher people onto or into something, especially a vehicle, all at the same time. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "load" and "into." We had just loaded everyone onto the boat when Tommy said he needed to use the bathroom. I hope they start loading us onto the plane soon.
3. To put a supply of something onto a structure, vehicle, or mode of conveyance. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "load" and "into." Let me know when you're finished loading that timber onto the truck. We'll need a forklift to load these pallets onto the shelves in the warehouse.
1. To get into something, especially a vehicle, all at the same time. Make sure you take a head count after all the kids have loaded into the bus. The passengers began loading into the cruise ship, blissfully unaware of the horror that awaited them in the middle of the ocean.
2. To usher people into something, especially a vehicle, all at the same time. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "load" and "into." We had just loaded everyone into the car when Tommy said he needed to use the bathroom. I hope they start loading us into the plane soon.
3. To put a supply of something into a structure, vehicle, or mode of conveyance. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "load" and "into." Let me know when you're finished loading that timber into the van. We'll need a forklift to load these pallets into the storage unit.
load (something) with (something)
1. To fill some space or structure with a large or heavy amount of something. Let me know when you're finished loading the van with timber. We'll need a forklift to load the shelves in the warehouse with these pallets of books.
2. To burden something with an excessive amount of something else. Often used in passive constructions. The director loaded the film with so much symbolism that it's hard to figure out what is supposed to be taken literally. Snack cakes like these are loaded with calories.
loaded to the gills
1. Completely full; teeming; having no room to spare. I've got so many meetings and deadlines these days that my schedule is loaded to the gills! Her mind was loaded to the gills with ideas for her new book. My stomach felt loaded to the gills after my grandmother's Thanksgiving meal.
2. Thoroughly intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, especially to the point of incoherence, senselessness, or the loss of self-control. I hate being in New Orleans during Mardi Gras—everyone just getting loaded to the gills for a week solid. I was loaded to the gills with painkillers for about two weeks after my surgery. I'm off the meds now, but I still feel pretty out of it.
load into something
[for people] to get into something. Everyone loaded into the bus, and we set off for Denver. The kids all loaded into the station wagon for the trip.
load someone or something into somethingand load someone or something in
to put someone or something into something. Would you load the dishes into the dishwasher? Let's load the kids into the car and go to the zoo. Load them in, and let's go.
load something onto someone or somethingand load something on
to lift something onto someone or something. We loaded the trunk onto Sam, and he carried it up the stairs into the house. Please help me load the boxes onto the cart. Load on the boxes, and let's go.
loaded for bear
1. Inf. angry. He left here in a rage. He was really loaded for bear. When I got home from work, I was really loaded for bear. What a horrible day!
2. Inf. drunk. (An elaboration of loaded, which means "drunk.") By the end of the party, Bill was loaded for bear. The whole gang drank for an hour until they were loaded for bear.
loaded to the gillsand loaded to the barrel
Sl. intoxicated. He's loaded to the gills. Man, he's loaded to the barrel and fighting mad.
Consume a large amount of carbohydrate food, as in Karen began carbo loading three days before the road race. This term, a clipping of "carbohydrate loading," originated among marathon runners, who were advised to build up their strength before a race by eating quantities of foods like spaghetti. [1970s]
dice are loaded, the
see under load the dice.
See also: dice
loaded for bear
Fully prepared for action; also, spoiling for a fight. For example, Bill tackled his new sales route loaded for bear, or When Martin was three hours late, his wife was loaded for bear. This term, dating from the mid-1800s, alludes to the heavy charge of powder or lead that hunters use for large animals like a bear.
A question heavy with meaning or emotional impact, as in When he inquired after Helen's ex-husband, that was a loaded question. This term employs loaded in the sense of "charged with hidden implication." [Mid-1900s]
load the dice
Rig the odds so there is little chance for another person to win; cheat. For example, There's no way we can win this contest; they've loaded the dice. This expression is also put as the dice are loaded, as in There's no point in trying; the dice are loaded. This expression alludes to adding weight to one side or another of dice so that they will always come up with certain numbers facing upward. [Late 1800s]
loaded for bearAMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you are loaded for bear, you are eager to start doing something difficult or to argue with someone. The president arrived at the meeting loaded for bear. We could go charging in there with guns and bullhorns, loaded for bear. Note: Someone who is loaded for bear has weapons which are powerful enough to kill a bear, even though they may be hunting smaller animals.
the dice is loaded against someoneor
the dice are loaded against someone
If the dice is loaded against you or the dice are loaded against you, you are in a situation where things have been arranged to cause a disadvantage for you. I had survived that night on the mountain when all the dice were loaded against me. Note: You can also say that the dice is loaded in your favour or the dice are loaded in your favour if you are in a situation where things have been arranged to cause an advantage for you. Insist on your rights. The dice are loaded in your favour — after all, you are the one with the money. Note: Players who wanted to cheat at dice games sometimes `loaded' or weighted the dice so that they tended to fall in a particular way.
loaded for bearfully prepared for any eventuality, typically a confrontation or challenge. North American informal
The image here may be of a hunting gun loaded and ready to shoot a bear.
the ˌdice are loaded aˈgainst somebodya person has little chance of succeeding in something, perhaps for unfair reasons: If you apply for a job when you’re over 40, the dice are loaded against you.This phrase refers to putting a piece of lead (= a heavy metal) inside a dice so that it always falls in a particular way.
loaded for ˈbear(American English) well prepared and ready to act in a determined or aggressive manner: The reporters at the press conference were loaded for bear. ♢ If you get to the finals against him you better come loaded for bear.This comes from hunting and refers to carrying the correct equipment, bullets, etc. to shoot a bear.
1. mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. If you’re loaded, don’t drive.
2. mod. spiked with liquor; containing much alcohol. There’s a little rum in the eggnog, but it’s certainly not what I would call loaded.
3. mod. having all available accessories. (Said of a car.) Did you want to see a car that’s loaded, or is this to be a budget car?
4. mod. wealthy; loaded with money. Mr. Wilson is loaded, but he is also generous with his money.
loaded for bear
1. mod. alcohol intoxicated. He’s been drinking mule since dawn, and he’s loaded for bear.
2. mod. ready for the hardest problems. I’m loaded for bear, and that’s good because this is going to be a rough day.
3. mod. very angry. I had been loaded for bear when I came into the room, and I left as meek as a lamb.
loaded to the gillsand loaded to the barrel
mod. alcohol intoxicated. He’s loaded to the gills. Couldn’t see a hole in a ladder. Those guys are loaded to the barrel and are getting mean.
loaded to the barrelverb
load the dice
1. To make an outcome highly probable; predetermine a result: "These factors merely load the dice, upping the odds that a household will fall into a certain ... income distribution" (Thomas G. Exter).
2. To put another at a distinct disadvantage, as through prior maneuver: The dice were loaded against the defendant before the trial.