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cumber

[kuhm-ber] /ˈkʌm bər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to hinder; hamper.
2.
to overload; burden.
3.
to inconvenience; trouble.
noun
4.
a hindrance.
5.
something that cumbers.
6.
Archaic. embarrassment; trouble.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English cumbre (noun), cumbren (v.), aphetic variant of acumbren to harass, defeat; see encumber
Related forms
cumberer, noun
cumberment, noun
overcumber, verb (used with object)
uncumbered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cumbered

cumber

/ˈkʌmbə/
verb (transitive)
1.
to obstruct or hinder
2.
(obsolete) to inconvenience
noun
3.
a hindrance or burden
Derived Forms
cumberer, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably from Old French combrer to impede, prevent, from combre barrier; see encumber
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cumbered

cumber

v.

c.1300, "to overthrow, destroy; to be overwhelmed; to harass," apparently from French, but Old French combrer "to seize hold of, lay hands on, grab, snatch, take by force, rape," has not quite the same sense. Perhaps a shortened formation from a verb akin to Middle English acombren "obstructing progress," from Old French encombrer, from combre "obstruction, barrier," from Vulgar Latin *comboros "that which is carried together," perhaps from a Gaulish word.

The likely roots are PIE *kom (see com-) + *bher- (1) "to bear" (see infer). Weakened sense of "to hamper, to obstruct or weigh down" is late 14c. Related: Cumbered; cumbering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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