Definition of dead load in English:

dead load

Pronunciation /ˌded ˈlōd/ /ˌdɛd ˈloʊd/


  • The intrinsic weight of a structure or vehicle, excluding the weight of passengers or goods.

    Often contrasted with live load

    ‘a jacking operation to transfer 4000 t of the tower's 6000 t dead load to underlying chalk bedrock’
    • ‘Footings or piers may also be assigned a minimum dead load pressure to resist uplift of low-swelling soils.’
    • ‘A full structural analysis is required to determine whether it is necessary to underpin the foundations to resist the additional dead loads.’
    • ‘The research undertaken was applied to the architect's design, with analysis of rafter self-weight, and theoretical dead loads of bamboo sheeting and live loads representing rain and maintenance.’
    • ‘The beams of a deck are intermediate structural members, transferring the dead loads of the joists (if used) and decking and live loads to the post or pier.’
    • ‘He explained further that normally one would design for a 40 pound per square foot live load, and for whatever the dead load would actually be.’
    • ‘For example, roof construction in the past relied on the dead load of the roof itself for resistance to being blown upwards by wind.’
    • ‘When 4X4 posts are used to support the rails, the post spacing should not exceed 6 feet because the rails transfer the dead loads of the balustrades and rails to the posts.’
    • ‘In each case, the reduced dead load, as compared to conventional materials, allows a higher live or service load.’
    • ‘Because the overlay replaced the existing topping, there was only a small increase in dead load, which was offset by using lightweight concrete.’
    • ‘A typical present-day covered bridge has a flooring dead load equal to approximately one third of the total weight of the bridge superstructure.’
    • ‘All signs and sign structures will be designed and constructed to withstand wind pressure and dead loads as required by the building code or other ordinance of the city.’
    • ‘Consider the dead load of the precast girder, deck and diaphragm concrete acting on a simple span of the bridge.’