Meaning of encumber

en•cum•ber

Pronunciation: (en-kum'bur), [key]
— v.t.
  1. to impede or hinder; hamper; retard: Red tape encumbers all our attempts at action.
  2. to block up or fill with what is obstructive or superfluous: a mind encumbered with trivial and useless information.
  3. to burden or weigh down: She was encumbered with a suitcase and several packages.
  4. to burden with obligations, debt, etc.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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