cumbersome

adjective
cum·​ber·​some | \ ˈkəm-bər-səm \

Definition of cumbersome

1 : unwieldy because of heaviness and bulk a cumbersome package
2 : slow-moving : ponderous cumbersome administrative procedures
3 dialect : burdensome, troublesome

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cumbersome

cumbersomely adverb
cumbersomeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cumbersome

Synonyms

awkward, bunglesome, clumsy, clunky, cranky, cumbrous, ponderous, ungainly, unhandy, unwieldy

Antonyms

handy

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for cumbersome

heavy, weighty, ponderous, cumbrous, cumbersome mean having great weight. heavy implies that something has greater density or thickness than the average of its kind or class. a heavy child for his age weighty suggests having actual and not just relative weight. a load of weighty boxes ponderous implies having great weight because of size and massiveness with resulting great inertia. ponderous elephants in a circus parade cumbrous and cumbersome imply heaviness and bulkiness that make for difficulty in grasping, moving, carrying, or manipulating. wrestled with the cumbrous furniture early cameras were cumbersome and inconvenient

Examples of cumbersome in a Sentence

Squad members, already decked out in cumbersome chemical suits, put on masks and rubber gloves. — Ray Wilkinson, Newsweek, 11 Mar. 1991 He got the approval of the higher-ups, but the course was scuttled by members of his own department, who devised all kinds of cumbersome, silly requirements and prerequisites. — Alice Munro, New Yorker, 20 Mar. 1989 He cut some segments of the 2" pine but discovered that … a cumbersome system of braces would be needed to hold the sides straight. — John Updike, Couples, 1968 The application process is cumbersome and time-consuming. Her expanded job title is really cumbersome.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Flattened boxes are cumbersome, and carrying more than one demands two hands. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "Why is it so hard to get rid of cardboard boxes?," 6 Dec. 2018 Some military leaders have criticized the proposal as too expensive and cumbersome. Robert Costa, The Seattle Times, "Pence leaves open the possibility of nuclear weapons in space," 23 Oct. 2018 Sometimes fashion gets too think-y and cumbersome, and yesteryear Gucci is dependable in a hot way. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are Wearing Tom Ford’s Gucci—As They Should," 23 Aug. 2018 And while this can lead to a number of cumbersome and chilly frustrations — chattering teeth, numb fingers, and a general disinterest in going outside — there are some cool sides of the frosty winter. Detroit Free Press, "At least there is one cool thing about this cold weather: Ice balls," 3 Jan. 2018 But that would require a change in the way the grain is classified by the FDA, likely a time-consuming and cumbersome process. Jonel Aleccia, The Seattle Times, "FDA allows food makers to fortify corn masa to halt birth defects, but few do," 16 Oct. 2018 This concept carries over from decor to design, favoring open-concept spaces that are flowing and devoid of any cumbersome and overwhelming furniture taking up visual (or actual) space. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "What Is Minimalism, Exactly?," 24 Sep. 2018 The masks and hoses can be cumbersome and noisy, and studies show that about third of patients don’t use their CPAPs as directed. Marshall Allen, Ars Technica, "You snooze, you lose: Insurers make the old adage literally true," 21 Nov. 2018 Because the exoskeletons were cumbersome and used too much energy, the military lost interest—but the technology survived. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "Swing Shift: A Bridge Wobbled and Robotics Benefited," 9 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cumbersome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cumbersome

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for cumbersome

see cumber entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cumbersome

Share cumbersome

Statistics for cumbersome

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cumbersome

The first known use of cumbersome was in 1535

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cumbersome

cumbersome

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of cumbersome

: hard to handle or manage because of size or weight

: complicated and hard to do

: long and difficult to read, say, etc.

cumbersome

adjective
cum·​ber·​some | \ ˈkəm-bər-səm \

Kids Definition of cumbersome

: hard to handle or manage because of size or weight

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cumbersome

What made you want to look up cumbersome? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!