Restrict or impede (someone or something) in such a way that free action or movement is difficult: she was encumbered by her heavy skirts they had arrived encumbered with families
More example sentences
- Patients would enjoy a free choice of provider, and doctors and nurses would be freed from the massive bureaucracy that encumbers care and wastes money.
- Delaying litigation can encumber our project should we forget that we also work for those we seek to protect.
- It basically is a lawsuit that's filed that encumbers someone's basic right to free speech.
Middle English (in the sense 'cause trouble to, entangle'; formerly also as incumber): from Old French encombrer 'block up', from en- 'in' + combre 'river barrage'.