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Definition of "encumber" [en•cum•ber]

  • To put a heavy load on; burden: a hiker who was encumbered with a heavy pack; a life that has always been encumbered with responsibilities. (verb-transitive)
  • To hinder or impede the action or performance of: restrictions that encumber police work. (verb-transitive)
  • To burden with legal or financial obligations: an estate that is encumbered with debts. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "encumber" in a sentence
  • "Crumbles and breaks, th 'encumber'd lines must flow."
  • "Unfortunately, the worldviews that dominated American politics throughout the 20th century now encumber the nation's attempts to solve the problems it faces in the 21st."
  • "Spending cuts will further encumber the Navy's already withering fleet, which plays a central role in AirSea Battle."