• WordNet 3.6
    • n encumbrance any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome
    • n encumbrance an onerous or difficult concern "the burden of responsibility","that's a load off my mind"
    • n encumbrance a charge against property (as a lien or mortgage)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Encumbrance (Law) Same as Incumbrance.
    • Encumbrance That which encumbers; a burden which impedes action, or renders it difficult and laborious; a clog; an impediment. See Incumbrance.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n encumbrance The act of encumbering, or the state of being encumbered.
    • n encumbrance That which encumbers, burdens, or clogs; anything that impedes action, or renders it difficult and laborious; an obstruction or impediment; an embarrassment.
    • n encumbrance Specifically In law, a charge or servitude affecting property, which diminishes the value of ownership, or may impair its enjoyment, so as to constitute a qualification or diminution of the rights of ownership. It does not impair ownership or power to convey, bnt implies a burden which will continue on the property in the hands of the purchaser. If a person owns only an undivided share in land, the share of his cotenant is not designated an encumbrance on his share; but if the land is subject to unpaid taxes or to a right of way, or if the land or one's share is subject to a mortgage or a mechanic's lien, it is said to be encumbered.
    • n encumbrance A family charge or care; especially, a child or a family of children: as, a widow without encumbrance or encumbrances.
    • n encumbrance Synonyms Burden, check, hindrance, drag, weight, dead weight.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Encumbrance that which encumbers or hinders: a legal claim on an estate: one dependent on another—e.g. 'a widow without encumbrances'=a widow without children
    • ***


  • Thomas De Quincey
    Thomas De Quincey
    “In many walks of life, a conscience is a more expensive encumbrance than a wife or a carriage.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. OF. encombrance,. Cf. Incumbrance
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. encombrer, from en-, and combrer.


In literature:

Our men in other wars have abandoned their packs on entering battle, they were such encumbrances in skirmishing.
"At Plattsburg" by Allen French
A ship to which sea-weed, shells, or other encumbrances adhere.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
The fortune had been diminished by the ostentation of his ancestors and burdened with encumbrances.
"The Dead Command" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
It is conveniently arranged, and you soon forget it as an encumbrance.
"The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy"" by John MacGregor
The only other encumbrance is a thin white cotton sacque, short and loose.
"Under the Southern Cross" by Elizabeth Robins
Strange indeed that time should be an encumbrance to a sage!
"The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831" by Various
He was only anxious to relieve his new friends of an encumbrance.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
A bicycle was an encumbrance, a thing inappropriate to the adventure.
"The Combined Maze" by May Sinclair
But the weight upon his head, the crushing encumbrance about his body, were too much for him, and bore him slowly downward.
"Kings in Exile" by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
Having rid himself of all encumbrances, he set out on the tracks of the two white boys.
"In the Musgrave Ranges" by Jim Bushman
He had told her that she was but an encumbrance.
"The White Lie" by William Le Queux
Then we shall have our own again, and the property without encumbrance.
"The Pirate and The Three Cutters" by Frederick Marryat
That handsome scholar she brought here turned out an unbearable encumbrance.
"An Orkney Maid" by Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
As for her title and her wealth, I tell you, honestly, they are encumbrances I do not want.
"The Old Countess; or, The Two Proposals" by Ann S. Stephens
He didn't want any encumbrances now.
"Anything You Can Do" by Gordon Randall Garrett
An encumbrance at least, and no doubt plaguy, or she never would have been called an old cat.
"When Ghost Meets Ghost" by William Frend De Morgan
She is no encumbrance here.
"The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of Jane Austen" by Jane Austen
As for my uncle, he was nearly bald, and a wig was no great encumbrance; but my shaggy locks gave me some trouble.
"The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin, Volume 1." by James Fenimore Cooper
Religion must be freed from the encumbrance of a vexatious controversy.
"British Supremacy & Canadian Self-Government" by J. L. Morison
But it was not in Virginia's nature to remain long a helpless encumbrance.
"Cudjo's Cave" by J. T. Trowbridge

In poetry:

So softly we float on a smooth flowing sea,
That our helm and our anchors are cast to the shore,
We think them a burden and wish to be free,
From every encumbrance that can serve us no more.
"Drifting Away" by Jared Barhite

In news:

It suggests that something is an encumbrance that drags you down and hampers and impedes your progress in life.
Let's talk about encumbrance .
Restrictive covenants that run with the land are encumbrances and may affect the value and marketability of title.
Through therapy , Sarah has freed me from the daily encumbrances of mere mortal men.
A deed in which the grantor guarantees that he or she is giving the grantee good title free of encumbrances.