V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. to burden or weigh down; 2. to impede, hamper, or hold back

Synonyms: burden, impede, hamper, hinder

Antonyms: help, speed, lighten

Tips: Encumber comes from the old French word encombrer, which meant "to block or obstruct with a barrier." An encumbrance is a burden or concern. When people are unencumbered, they are free from burdens or responsibilities. Although the origin of the word encumber comes from blocking or obstruction, it is used more often to describe someone who is weighed down or burdened by something. Hinder is used to denote "getting in the way" and impede is used to denote "interfering with movement." See hindrance for additional analysis of encumbrance.

Usage Examples:

I don't want to encumber you with this problem, but I have no one else to turn to. (burden)

Taking care of their grandmother is not an encumbrance at all; it is actually a pleasure. (burden, hindrance) noun

To encumber him with this additional problem may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. (burden, impede)

I felt so free and unencumbered during my vacation, it was tough to get back to work. (unburdened, free from worry) adjective

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