cum·​ber·​some | \ ˈkəm-bər-səm How to pronounce cumbersome (audio) \

Definition of cumbersome

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

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Other Words from cumbersome

cumbersomely adverb
cumbersomeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cumbersome



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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The rear seat belt reminder requirement is now scheduled to start moving through the cumbersome regulatory process in January, but a final rule could be years away. Hope Yen, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Oct. 2021 To navigate the obstacles introduced by app stores, a dedicated mobile DevOps team should focus on automating processes that are the most cumbersome — and therefore the most likely to slow down release cycles. Viktor Benei, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 McConnell is demanding Democrats raise the debt limit using a more cumbersome process known as reconciliation that is being employed for legislation to enact much of President Joe Biden’s agenda and exempts it from any GOP filibuster. Erik Wasson, Fortune, 6 Oct. 2021 SPACs forgo the pageantry of an IPO in favor of a more controlled, less cumbersome process, that nonetheless gives the company a public stock listing and an opportunity to sell more shares later. oregonlive, 22 Sep. 2021 Many community groups have blasted the Empire State's online-only application process, calling it cumbersome, opaque and unconscionably slow in getting the money to desperate renters. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 13 Aug. 2021 Digital freight startups use technology to streamline the sometimes cumbersome process of connecting truckers with shippers looking to move cargo. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, 11 Aug. 2021 The rental assistance program, Stay D.C., was derided by tenant advocates, management companies and landlord advocates alike for being cumbersome, confusing and excessively time-consuming. Washington Post, 21 May 2021 For the one who wants a cordless vacuum: This high-powered Dyson If your giftee often complains that their vacuum cord is either too short, too cumbersome, or too long that it gets entangled in knots, then the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is for them. Sarah Vincelette, USA TODAY, 19 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of cumbersome

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for cumbersome

see cumber entry 1

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Time Traveler for cumbersome

Time Traveler

The first known use of cumbersome was in 1535

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Dictionary Entries Near cumbersome

Cumberland sauce



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Statistics for cumbersome

Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cumbersome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for cumbersome



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.


cum·​ber·​some | \ ˈkəm-bər-səm How to pronounce cumbersome (audio) \

Kids Definition of cumbersome

: hard to handle or manage because of size or weight

More from Merriam-Webster on cumbersome

Nglish: Translation of cumbersome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cumbersome for Arabic Speakers


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