Dictionary

encumber

verb en·cum·ber \in-ˈkəm-bər\

: to make (someone or something) hold or carry something heavy

: to cause problems or difficulties for (someone or something)

en·cum·bereden·cum·ber·ing\-b(ə-)riŋ\

Full Definition of ENCUMBER

transitive verb
1
:  weigh down, burden <tourists encumbered by heavy luggage>
2
:  to impede or hamper the function or activity of :  hinder <negotiations encumbered by a lack of trust>
3
:  to burden with a legal claim (as a mortgage) <encumber an estate>
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of ENCUMBER

  1. These rules will only encumber the people we're trying to help.
  2. Lack of funding has encumbered the project.

Origin of ENCUMBER

Middle English encombren, from Anglo-French encumbrer, from en- + Middle French combre dam, weir
First Known Use: 14th century
ENCUMBERED Defined for Kids

encumber

verb en·cum·ber \in-ˈkəm-bər\
en·cum·bereden·cum·ber·ing

Definition of ENCUMBER for Kids

1
:  to weigh down :  burden <Their heavy coats encumbered the children.>
2
:  to cause problems or delays for :  hinder <Bad weather encumbered the building project.>

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: encumberinglyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: enculturationAll Words Near: encumber
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears