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encumbrance Syllabification: en·cum·brance
Pronunciation: /inˈkəmb(ə)rəns/

Definition of encumbrance in English:


1A burden or impediment.
Example sentences
  • So the chancellor would be able to govern for at least one whole legislative period unhindered by the encumbrances of federalism.
  • What women need is a little oxygen, a little breathing room, to be without encumbrances and stress.’
  • Money is not a pressing problem; domestic encumbrances remain out of sight.
hindrance, obstruction, obstacle, impediment, constraint, handicap, inconvenience, nuisance, disadvantage, drawback
literary trammel
archaic cumber
burden, responsibility, obligation, liability, weight, load, stress, strain, pressure, trouble, worry;
millstone, albatross, cross to bear
informal ball and chain
1.1 Law A mortgage or other charge on property or assets.
Example sentences
  • The company has satisfactory title to all assets and there are no liens or encumbrances on the company's assets, except for those that are disclosed in the notes to the financial statements.
  • By the first sentence of clause 9 the sellers ‘warrant that the vessel, at the time of delivery, is free from all encumbrances, mortgages and maritime liens or any other debts whatsoever’.
  • At the top of the list is the simple proposition that by adding a reference to the first mortgage as a prior encumbrance the lease was encumbered.
1.2 archaic A person, especially a child, who is dependent on someone else for support.


Middle English (denoting an encumbered state; formerly also as incumbrance): from Old French encombrance, from encombrer 'block up' (see encumber).

Definition of encumbrance in:

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