Definition of cumbersome in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m/


1Large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry or use; unwieldy: cumbersome diving suits
More example sentences
  • The major gripe by referees was the fact that the apparatus they were asked to carry was heavy and cumbersome.
  • The other possibility was that they were about to carry something heavy or cumbersome out of the room.
  • She didn't care that she didn't have a backpack to carry her cumbersome books in.
unwieldy, unmanageable, awkward, clumsy, ungainly, inconvenient, incommodious;
bulky, large, heavy, hefty, weighty, burdensome
informal hulking, clunky
rare cumbrous, unhandy, lumbersome
1.1Slow or complicated and therefore inefficient: organizations with cumbersome hierarchical structures
More example sentences
  • This was still a very slow and cumbersome way to communicate, and it had its own frustrations.
  • But Franklin wanted to make the process less cumbersome.
  • If a task manager is too cumbersome to use, you won't bother with it.
complicated, complex, involved, inefficient, badly organized, wasteful, unwieldy, slow, slow-moving



Example sentences
  • On this cumbersomely titled solo outing, he gets a chance to explore what is clearly a lifelong fascination with traditional blues and folk forms, choosing to present them in as authentic a context as possible.
  • It's cumbersomely long for an advertisement, but not long or substantial enough to satisfy as entertainment; still, it's an unusual bit of ephemera and offers a taste of the way the film was promoted.
  • She slung her bag cumbersomely about her neck and tucked it under one arm then slid off of her bed and took quite a few seconds to look around the room, apparently absorbing everything.


Example sentences
  • The wrong-headed pressures toward centralization and state bureaucracy, the sheer cumbersomeness of its political mechanisms, the wide cultural gaps papered over by the union, could eventually lead to meltdown.
  • The cumbersomeness and time-consuming nature of these new arrangements have resulted in only six countries benefiting from them.
  • A soldier grabbed his battle-axe; struggling with its weight and cumbersomeness, another lifted the blades and carried it away.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'difficult to get through'): from cumber + -some1.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cum¦ber|some

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