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How to pronounce encumber (audio)

Dictionary definition of encumber

To burden, hinder, or weigh down someone or something with difficulties, obstacles, or excessive baggage.
"High-interest rates can encumber a business's growth potential."

Detailed meaning of encumber

When we use the term "encumber," we emphasize the act of impeding progress or movement by placing obstacles or burdens in the way. These hindrances can take various forms, such as physical obstacles, bureaucratic red tape, excessive responsibilities, or emotional baggage. To encumber someone or something is to make their path more challenging or complicated, often slowing down progress or creating additional challenges. This verb conveys the idea of imposing a burden or hindrance that can be limiting or troublesome, underscoring the need to remove or alleviate these obstacles to facilitate smoother progress or functioning.

Example sentences containing encumber

1. Laws shouldn’t encumber innovation, but foster growth and creativity.
2. Heavy debt can encumber families, hindering financial freedom.
3. Rules often encumber artists, stifling their creative expression.
4. Rigid norms encumber progress, keeping societies in the past.
5. Excess belongings encumber lives, cluttering physical spaces.
6. Bureaucracy tends to encumber business, slowing down operations.

History and etymology of encumber

The verb 'encumber' has its etymological origins in Old French and Latin. It is derived from the Old French word 'encombrer,' which means 'to block' or 'to hinder.' In turn, 'encombrer' comes from the Latin word 'incumbere,' which combines 'in' (meaning 'on') and 'cumbere' (meaning 'to lie down' or 'to rest'). Originally, in Latin, 'incumbere' referred to something physically resting or pressing on something else. Over time, the sense of burdening or hindering something or someone gradually developed in the French term 'encombrer,' and this meaning persisted as the word transitioned into English. Therefore, the etymology of 'encumber' reflects the idea of weighing down or hindering someone or something with difficulties, obstacles, or excessive baggage, much like a heavy load pressing upon them.

Quiz: Find the meaning of encumber

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Further usage examples of encumber

1. Negative thoughts encumber minds, blocking potential growth.
2. Complex systems can encumber users, reducing efficiency.
3. Misinformation can encumber dialogue, warping public perception.
4. Old traditions can encumber societies, halting advancement.
5. Unyielding policies encumber innovation, inhibiting breakthroughs.
6. Please don't encumber the meeting with unrelated topics.
7. If you encumber yourself with too many responsibilities, you may become overwhelmed.
8. Don't encumber your mind with negative thoughts.
9. We don't want to encumber our journey with unnecessary baggage.
10. Too many desserts will encumber your diet plan.
11. Trying to please everyone will only encumber your progress.
12. He decided not to encumber the picnic with his grilling equipment.
13. We mustn't encumber the team's spirit with excessive criticism.
14. If you encumber the discussion with personal issues, we won't reach a conclusion.
15. They chose not to encumber the car with additional cargo.
16. The heavy snow will encumber travel plans.
17. Complicated rules often encumber the learning process.
18. You shouldn't encumber your life with unnecessary stress.
19. The intricate decorations threatened to encumber the simple elegance of the event.
20. Adding too many features might encumber the usability of the software.
21. Don't encumber your essay with complex jargon; keep it simple and clear.
22. The unnecessary bureaucracy tends to encumber progress in many organizations.
23. High expectations can sometimes encumber an artist's creativity.
24. Let's not encumber our day with endless chores, let's have some fun instead!



burden, unburden, lighten, facilitate


Prefix en-, Hurdles and Setbacks, Adversity and Obstacle, Hardship and Suffering

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