1660s, "laden, burdened," past-participle adjective from load (v.). Of dice, from 1739 (in a French phrase book, translating des Dez chargés), in reference to the lead inserted to unbalance them. Sense of "rich, wealthy" is attested from 1910. Of guns, 1858. Slang meaning "drunk" is from 1886, probably from expression take one's load "drink one's fill" (1590s).