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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English encombren, from Old French encombrer, from en- + combrer (to hinder); see cumber.

VerbEdit

encumber (third-person singular simple present encumbers, present participle encumbering, simple past and past participle encumbered)

  1. (transitive) to load down something with a burden
  2. (transitive) to restrict or block something with a hindrance or impediment
    • 1906 – 1921, John Galsworthy, “Encounter”, in The Forsyte Saga, volume 1:
      He [Timothy Forsyte] had never committed the imprudence of marrying or encumbering himself in any way with children.
  3. (transitive) to burden with a legal claim or other obligation

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