as in clumsy
difficult to use or operate especially because of size, weight, or design a long-handled wrench that is too cumbersome for tight spots, such as under the sink

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How does the adjective cumbersome differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of cumbersome are cumbrous, heavy, ponderous, and weighty. While all these words mean "having great weight," 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

Where would heavy be a reasonable alternative to cumbersome?

While in some cases nearly identical to cumbersome, heavy implies that something has greater density or thickness than the average of its kind or class.

a heavy child for his age

When can ponderous be used instead of cumbersome?

The words ponderous and cumbersome can be used in similar contexts, but ponderous implies having great weight because of size and massiveness with resulting great inertia.

ponderous elephants in a circus parade

When might weighty be a better fit than cumbersome?

In some situations, the words weighty and cumbersome are roughly equivalent. However, weighty suggests having actual and not just relative weight.

a load of weighty boxes

Thesaurus Entries Near cumbersome

Cite this Entry

“Cumbersome.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/cumbersome. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

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