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Origin of cumbersome

First recorded in 1325–75, cumbersome is from the Middle English word cummyrsum. See cumber, -some1
Related formscum·ber·some·ly, adverbcum·ber·some·ness, noun

Synonyms for cumbersome

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cumbersome


cumbrous (ˈkʌmbrəs)

  1. awkward because of size, weight, or shapecumbersome baggage
  2. difficult because of extent or complexitycumbersome accounts
Derived Formscumbersomely or cumbrously, adverbcumbersomeness or cumbrousness, noun

Word Origin for cumbersome

C14: cumber, short for encumber + -some 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cumbersome

late 14c., from cumber (v.) + -some (1). Meaning "unwieldy, hard to carry" is from 1590s. Related: Cumbersomely; cumbersomeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper