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encumber

[ en-kuhm-ber ]
/ ɛnˈkʌm bər /
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See synonyms for: encumber / encumbered / encumbering on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
to impede or hinder; hamper: Red tape encumbers all our attempts at action.
to block up or fill with what is obstructive or superfluous: a mind encumbered with trivial and useless information.
to burden or weigh down: She was encumbered with a suitcase and several packages.
to burden with obligations, debt, etc.
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Sometimes in·cum·ber [in-kuhm-ber] /ɪnˈkʌm bər/ .

Origin of encumber

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English encombren, encombre, encomber, from Anglo-French, Middle French encombrer, equivalent to en- prefix + -combrer, verbal derivative of combre “dam, weir,” from early Medieval Latin combrus, from Gaulish comberos (unrecorded) “confluence, bringing together” (compare Quimper, in Brittany, from Breton Kemper ); see en-1, com-, bear1

OTHER WORDS FROM encumber

en·cum·ber·ing·ly, adverbun·en·cum·bered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use encumber in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for encumber

encumber

incumber

/ (ɪnˈkʌmbə) /

verb (tr)
to hinder or impede; make difficult; hamperencumbered with parcels after going shopping at Christmas; his stupidity encumbers his efforts to learn
to fill with superfluous or useless matter
to burden with debts, obligations, etc

Derived forms of encumber

encumberingly or incumberingly, adverb

Word Origin for encumber

C14: from Old French encombrer, from en- 1 + combre a barrier, from Late Latin combrus, of uncertain origin
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
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