Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday November 27, 2002
encumbrance \en-KUHM-brun(t)s\ , noun:
1. A burden, impediment, or hindrance.
2. A lien, mortgage, or other financial claim against a property.
As Prince of Wales, George V had himself taken his wife on several foreign or imperial tours, without the encumbrance of their young children.
-- Ben Pimlott, The Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth II
He . . . will have to overcome the encumbrance of space gloves to reattach electrical cables and install a hatch.
-- "Mir Cosmonaut's Heart Ills Cast Doubt on Repair Effort", New York Times, July 15, 1997
Liberated from the encumbrances of Washington, the editor and his creation were free to embark on the happiest period of their history.
-- Edward L. Widmer, Young America
But she knew that each family needed a son to inherit the property and encumbrances and to carry on the name for at least one more generation.
-- Annabel Davis-Goff, The Dower House
Encumbrance is from Old French encombrance, from encombrer, "to block up," from en-, "in" (here used intensively) + combre, "dam, weir, hence hindrance."