Encumber meaning

ĕn-kŭmbər
To encumber is defined as to restrain, weigh down, hinder or obstruct.

When a heavy load makes it hard for a wagon to move, this is an example of encumber.

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To hold back the motion or action of, as with a burden; hinder; hamper.
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To cause to have difficulty in moving or in accomplishing something; burden.

A hiker encumbered with a heavy pack; a student encumbered with responsibilities.

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To hinder or impede the action or performance of.

Restrictions that encumber police work.

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To burden with legal or financial obligations.

An estate that is encumbered with debts.

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To fill in such a way as to obstruct; block up; obstruct.
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To load or weigh down, as with claims, debts, etc.; burden.
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To load down something with a burden.
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To restrict or block something with a hindrance or impediment.
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To add a legal claim or other obligation.
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Origin of encumber

  • Middle English encombren from Old French encombrer to block up en- in en–1 combre hindrance (from Gaulish comboros)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French encombrer, from en- + combrer (“to hinder”); see cumber.

    From Wiktionary