encumber

[en-kuhm-ber]
verb (used with object)
1.
to impede or hinder; hamper; retard: Red tape encumbers all our attempts at action.
2.
to block up or fill with what is obstructive or superfluous: a mind encumbered with trivial and useless information.
3.
to burden or weigh down: She was encumbered with a suitcase and several packages.
4.
to burden with obligations, debt, etc.
Also, incumber.


Origin:
1300–50; Middle English encombren < Anglo-French, Middle French encombrer, equivalent to en- en-1 + -combrer, verbal derivative of combre dam, weir < early Medieval Latin combrus < Gaulish *comberos confluence, bringing together (compare Quimper, in Brittany < Breton Kemper); see com-, bear1

encumberingly, adverb
unencumbered, adjective
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World English Dictionary
encumber or incumber (ɪnˈkʌmbə)
 
vb
1.  to hinder or impede; make difficult; hamper: encumbered with parcels after going shopping at Christmas; his stupidity encumbers his efforts to learn
2.  to fill with superfluous or useless matter
3.  to burden with debts, obligations, etc
 
[C14: from Old French encombrer, from en-1 + combre a barrier, from Late Latin combrus, of uncertain origin]
 
incumber or incumber
 
vb
 
[C14: from Old French encombrer, from en-1 + combre a barrier, from Late Latin combrus, of uncertain origin]
 
en'cumberingly or incumber
 
adv
 
in'cumberingly or incumber
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

encumber
early 14c., from O.Fr. encombrer "to block up," from L.L. incombrare, from in- "in" + combrus "barricade, obstacle," probably from L. cumulus "heap." Related: Encumbered; encumbering.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He said the campaign did not encumber the public funds in any way.
The fact that there are so many people from different political orientations should enhance the debating, not encumber it.
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