[ kuhm-ber-suhm ]
/ ˈkʌm bər səm /


burdensome; troublesome.
unwieldy; clumsy.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cumbersome

British Dictionary definitions for cumbersome


cumbrous (ˈkʌmbrəs)

/ (ˈkʌmbəsəm) /


awkward because of size, weight, or shapecumbersome baggage
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