dis·​en·​cum·​ber ˌdis-in-ˈkəm-bər How to pronounce disencumber (audio)
disencumbered; disencumbering; disencumbers

transitive verb

: to free from encumbrance : disburden
Choose the Right Synonym for disencumber

extricate, disentangle, untangle, disencumber, disembarrass mean to free from what binds or holds back.

extricate implies the use of care or ingenuity in freeing from a difficult position or situation.

extricated himself from financial difficulties

disentangle and untangle suggest painstaking separation of a thing from other things.

disentangling fact from fiction
untangle a web of deceit

disencumber implies a release from something that clogs or weighs down.

an article disencumbered of jargon

disembarrass suggests a release from something that impedes or hinders.

disembarrassed herself of her advisers

Examples of disencumber in a Sentence

we disencumbered our pack animals as soon as we made camp that night a simple statement of the terms of the contract disencumbered of legal jargon
Recent Examples on the Web However, before negotiations between Lyon and the Gunners can begin in earnest, the Gunners may first have to disencumber themselves of the German's £350,000-a-week wages. SI.com, 3 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disencumber.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French desencombrer, from des- dis- + encombrer to encumber

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of disencumber was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near disencumber

Cite this Entry

“Disencumber.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disencumber. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​en·​cum·​ber ˌdis-ᵊn-ˈkəm-bər How to pronounce disencumber (audio)
: to free from a burden
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