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Encumbrance   Listen
Encumbrance

noun
1.
An onerous or difficult concern.  Synonyms: burden, incumbrance, load, onus.  "That's a load off my mind"
2.
A charge against property (as a lien or mortgage).  Synonym: incumbrance.
3.
Any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome.  Synonyms: hinderance, hindrance, hitch, incumbrance, interference, preventative, preventive.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Encumbrance" Quotes from Famous Books



... happier for her wealth; the piled-up millions overshadowed her personality; and it was not long before she knew that most people regarded her simply as the heiress of the Woods fortune—an unavoidable encumbrance attached to the property, which divers thrifty-minded gentlemen were willing to put up with. To put up with!—at the thought, her pride rose in a hot blush, and, it must be confessed, she sought ...
— The Eagle's Shadow • James Branch Cabell

... no encumbrance, since we have ample supplies of power. In fact, we are now employing the highest acceleration we Titanians can endure for any ...
— Spacehounds of IPC • Edward Elmer Smith

... on these things, it has always seemed a worthier honour to be the instrument of making you bestir yourselves in this high matter, than to enjoy all that office can bestow—office, of which the patronage would be an irksome encumbrance, the emoluments superfluous to one content with the rest of his industrious fellow-citizens that his own hands minister to his wants; and as for the power supposed to follow it—I have lived near half a century, and I have learned that power and ...
— The Glory of English Prose - Letters to My Grandson • Stephen Coleridge

... 'Rill and Hopewell, "was for all the worl' like Famine weddin' with Poverty. And a very purty weddin' that allus is," she added with a sniff. "Neither of 'em ain't got nothin', nor never will have—'ceptin' that Hopewell's got an encumbrance in the shape of that ...
— How Janice Day Won • Helen Beecher Long

... the continuance of cruelty, which he censured in the strongest language of indignation. Certain settlers established a species of juvenile slavery: they followed up the mother, retarded by the encumbrance of her children, until she was compelled in her terror to leave them. Well might the Governor declare, that crime so enormous had fixed a lasting stigma on the British name. These provocations produced their usual consequences: by spearing cattle, and other acts of hostility, a tribe ...
— The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2) • John West

... comets must be thrust down below the moon, so no sooner had the late observations of astronomers restored the comets to their ancient places in the higher heavens than these celestial spaces were at once cleared of the encumbrance of solid orbs, which by these observations were broken to pieces and discarded ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... their participation in my escape. The project was fully discussed by the fellows; but the risk of swimming, even in a fog, under the muzzles of muskets, was a danger they feared encountering. I perceived at once that it would be best to free myself entirely from the encumbrance of such chicken-hearted lubbers, so I bade them take their own course, but divided three thousand francs in government bills among the gang, and presented my gold pocket chronometer ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... shrunken limbs and bodies drawn out until, in some cases, the backbone had 150 vertebrae. They seem to have taken to the thickets, in the growing competition, as the serpents did later, and lost the use of their limbs, which would be merely an encumbrance in winding among the roots and branches. Some (the Microsaurs) were agile little salamander-like organisms, with strong, bony frames and relatively long and useful legs; they look as if they may even have climbed the trees in pursuit of snails ...
— The Story of Evolution • Joseph McCabe

... convalescent marsh; that is, canals and deep ditch drains have been opened all through it, and into these the waters of the marsh flow, as a token of gratitude for the delicate little attention; at the same time, the adjacent soil, freed from its liquid encumbrance, courts the attractive charms of the sun, and has already risen from two and a half to three and a half feet above its ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... never brought me any happiness, and I am uncertain whether it is a kindness to bequeath to you what to me has been but an irksome encumbrance. After giving long and earnest thought to the matter, I have decided to leave it in the ...
— The Manor House School • Angela Brazil

... encumbrance, we set forth, followed by the dogs. I had taken off my crinoline, because Eleanor said we might have to climb some walls, and I had borrowed a pair of her boots, because my own were so uncomfortable from being high-heeled and narrow-soled. They were too ...
— Six to Sixteen - A Story for Girls • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... informed by his agent in the matter, that a sale under the mortgage had taken place, and that, by means of the little management proposed, he had succeeded in keeping away all competition in bidding. The land, stock, farming implements, and all, had been knocked down at a price that just covered the encumbrance on the estate, and were the property of Mr. Bolton, at half ...
— Lessons in Life, For All Who Will Read Them • T. S. Arthur

... cluster of dwelling places beyond, and entering the first of these himself, signed to Roger to go into the second. He had some slight difficulty in pushing open the door, not because it was fastened, but owing to some encumbrance behind. When, however, he succeeded in forcing his way in, he found that the encumbrance was nothing more or less than the body of a woman lying dead along the floor of the tiny room. Upon a bed in the corner two children were lying, smiling as if in sleep, but both stiff and cold, ...
— In the Days of Chivalry • Evelyn Everett-Green

... hand and foot, and placed him on an unbridled and unbroken horse, and turned the animal loose, driving it off at its utmost speed, with shouts, delighted at witnessing its mode of managing with its living burden. The horse unable to shake off this new and strange encumbrance, made for the thickest covert of the woods and brambles, with the speed of the winds. It is easy to conjecture the position and suffering of the victim. The terrified animal exhausted itself in fruitless ...
— The First White Man of the West • Timothy Flint

... effort, first the mind must be cleared of the conceit that, because we live to-day, we are wiser than the ages gone. The mind must acknowledge its ignorance; all the learning and lore of so many eras must be erased from it as an encumbrance. It is not from past or present knowledge, science or faith, that it is to be drawn. Erase these altogether as they are erased under the fierce heat of the focus before me. Begin wholly afresh. Go straight to the sun, the immense forces of the universe, to the Entity ...
— The Story of My Heart • Richard Jefferies

... worked, then the forty thousand might turn out to be only a fraction of what it was worth; if it were allowed to lie there as it was, the money was simply thrown away. But in any case, they wanted to have a clear title, without encumbrance, and therefore they offered Isak five hundred Kroner for ...
— Growth of the Soil • Knut Hamsun

... the encumbrance on the estate; that's legal, I believe, and expresses it nicely. If we should freeze out the encumbrance, we might freeze him to his village, and he might insist on your going with him, which wouldn't do at all, my ...
— Cap'n Warren's Wards • Joseph C. Lincoln

... would be a long one. The Indians had twelve hours' start; they were much lighter men than the whites, and carried less additional weight. Their horses, therefore, could travel as fast and as far as those of their pursuers. The sheep would, it is true, be an encumbrance; the cattle could scarcely be termed so; and it was probable that the first day they would make a journey of fifty or sixty miles, travelling at a moderate pace only, as they would know that no instant pursuit could ...
— Out on the Pampas - The Young Settlers • G. A. Henty

... scattering from a shotgun at a range of a hundred yards or less would do him more damage and be far more certain to stop him. In an actual charge our present rifle is more than useless—it is an encumbrance, and when at grips with the enemy in his own trenches it is often a fatal handicap. With a bayonet at the end it is far too long, and in a trench two to four feet wide it cannot be used with much effect. I have known our men repeatedly to unship the bayonet and take it in ...
— "Over There" with the Australians • R. Hugh Knyvett

... deemed the child a useless encumbrance or a valueless article, or was visited by one of those touches of compunction which are well-known to assail at times the breasts of even the worst of pirates, we cannot tell; but no such clemency was extended to Jim's father. The Dey positively refused either to give him up ...
— The Pirate City - An Algerine Tale • R.M. Ballantyne

... "That's an encumbrance; you should not tie yourself to drag it about. You are unalterable, of course, but circumstances are not, and as it happens, women are more subject to them than ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... have been perfectly reasonable, but for one thing. It had come out that his pockets were empty, and he was evidently quite without any definite plan as to what he should do next, or where he should go. He was only anxious to relieve his new friends of an encumbrance. He was evidently the sort of person on whom the character sat ill; one who would always be most at ease when shifting for himself; such a one as would reply to any doubt thrown on his power of doing so, that he had been in many a worse ...
— Somehow Good • William de Morgan

... Tennessee is somewhat equivocal. All the states south of Tennessee belong to the slave-buying district. The first, with but few exceptions, have from the earliest times, felt slavery a reproach to their good name—an encumbrance on their advancement—at some period, to be cast off. This sentiment, had it been at all encouraged by the action of the General Government, in accordance with the views of the convention that formed the Constitution, would, in all probability, by this time, have brought ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... will accept the encumbrance to which you have fallen heir," resumed Culver. "Even if there had been no will in your favor, the State of Louisiana follows the French law, and the testator can under no circumstances alienate more than half his property, if he leave issue or descendants. Had the old will remained, ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... given them to save their lives," answered Guert, straining his eyes after Moses, the horse that was behind, so long as his dark form could be distinguished, and leaning forward to listen to the blows of their hoofs, while the noises around us permitted them to be heard. "To us, they would only be an encumbrance, since they never could be forced over the cracks and caked ice in harness; nor would it be at all safe to follow them, if they could. The sleigh is light, and we are strong enough to shove it to land, when there is an opportunity; or, it may ...
— Satanstoe • James Fenimore Cooper

... men had a scurvy trick played them by the Banyai. The Makololo had shot a hippopotamus, when a number of the natives came across, pretending to assist them in rolling it ashore, and advised them to cast off the rope, saying that it was an encumbrance. All were shouting and talking, when suddenly the carcass disappeared in a deep hole. The Makololo jumped in after it, one catching the tail, another a foot, but down it went, and they got but a lean fowl instead. It floated during the night, and was found about a mile ...
— Great African Travellers - From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley • W.H.G. Kingston

... exception of a few slight ornaments, entirely naked; and even the blanket, that served them as a couch by night and a covering by day, had, with one single exception, been dispensed with, apparently with a view to avoid any thing like encumbrance in their approaching sport. Each individual was provided with a stout sapling of about three feet in length, curved, and flattened at the root extremity, like that used at the Irish hurdle; which game, in fact, the ...
— Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy (Complete) • John Richardson

... It is scarcely possible, however, that such analysis will be brought forward, for it is the apparent policy of the reinforced concrete analyst to jump into the middle of his proposition without the encumbrance of a premise. ...
— Some Mooted Questions in Reinforced Concrete Design • Edward Godfrey

... admitted, this was a very great blunder, as fully 100,000 regulars and mobiles might have been spared to advantage for service in the provinces. Of course the National Guards themselves could not be sent away from the city, though they were often an encumbrance rather than a help, and could not possibly have carried on the work of defence had they been left to ...
— My Days of Adventure - The Fall of France, 1870-71 • Ernest Alfred Vizetelly

... still to sustain the attack of the infuriated mules; but, now that it was relieved from the encumbrance of its heavy rider, it gained fresh confidence in its long legs; and making a dash through the midst of the mulada, it struck off up the mountain-path, and galloped clear out of sight. The mules, encumbered with their packs, did not show any inclination to follow, and the drama was thus ...
— Bruin - The Grand Bear Hunt • Mayne Reid

... the fact that a blossom has a lip in the centre of the lower half of its corolla, that an insect must use as its landing place, comes the necessity for the pistil to occupy a central position. Naturally, a fifth stamen would be only in its way, an encumbrance to be banished in time. In the figwort, for example, we have seen the fifth stamen reduced, from long sterility, to a mere scale on the roof of the corolla tube; in other lipped flowers, the useless organ has disappeared; but in the beard-tongue, it goes through a series ...
— Wild Flowers Worth Knowing • Neltje Blanchan et al

... her there. It was amusing that one who was learning to "help" should be such an encumbrance. And there were many amusing things about Mr. Beason. He was afraid of her because she was a woman, for like reason disapproving of her presence in the laboratory, and yet there was an unconscious deference, the same ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... richly furred, which she let fall and showed herself to be girded with a noble sword. The king being surprised at this, said, "Damsel, wherefore art thou girt with that sword, for it beseemeth thee not?" "Sir," said she, "I will tell thee. This sword wherewith I am thus girt gives me great sorrow and encumbrance, for I may not be delivered from it till I find a knight faithful and pure and true, strong of body and of valiant deeds, without guile or treachery, who shall be able to draw it from its scabbard, which no man else can do. ...
— The Legends Of King Arthur And His Knights • James Knowles

... Had his sword met no other impediment than the buff jerkin, Cromwell's course had ended on the spot. But, fearful of such attempts, the General wore under his military dress a shirt of the finest mail, made of rings of the best steel, and so light and flexible that it was little or no encumbrance to the motions of the wearer. It proved his safety on this occasion, for the rapier sprung in shivers; while the owner, now held back by Everard and Holdenough, flung the hilt with passion on the ground, exclaiming, "Be damned the ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... together. So a hen closes its toes at every step it takes, as if it grasped something, and, of course, when it settles down on its roost, they grasp that tight and hold it fast till morning. But to birds that do not perch this mechanism is only an encumbrance, so many of them, like the plovers, abolish the hind toe entirely, and the prince of all two-legged runners, the ostrich, has got rid of one of the front ...
— Concerning Animals and Other Matters • E.H. Aitken, (AKA Edward Hamilton)

... way, and for the same purpose, the work bench has temporary holding cleats at the end and a shelf in front, which are particularly desirable, because either a saw or a square is an encumbrance on a work bench while the work is being assembled, and tools of this kind should not be laid flat on a working surface, nor should they be stood in a leaning position against ...
— Carpentry for Boys • J. S. Zerbe

... but possibly more subtle form, that blinds the eyes of many professing Christians to any good in those who differ from them in doctrine, forms of worship or methods of government. They murder love to protect what they often blindly call truth. What is truth without love? A dead thing, an encumbrance, the letter ...
— When the Holy Ghost is Come • Col. S. L. Brengle

... Care of this encumbrance was usually expected of Laura and Mrs. Madison, but to their surprise Cora offered a sprightly rejoinder and presently dropped behind them with Mr. Trumble. Mr. Trumble was also ...
— The Flirt • Booth Tarkington

... Border States, of their own accord, have already entered upon with such decision. Even if loyal duty don't prompt it, interest will. For slavery, after having been crippled as it has been by the war, even if it could live, would only be an encumbrance. But it can't live. It is already half dead. Let the loyal men of the South finish it and bury it in their ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol V. Issue III. March, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... we now do in an hour. To make a country tour, required then the same precautions, as to supplies, as it now does to make the grand tour of Europe. To have carried coin would have been a great encumbrance, as well as risk from robbers. How accurately Bunyan knew the mode used in such cases to secure supplies, and with what beautiful simplicity ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... then?" and Lord Fordyce felt his heart sink. "I thought, probably, she had got rid of any encumbrance, as it is fairly easy over ...
— The Man and the Moment • Elinor Glyn

... dragging himself on after Quentin, who, aware of the importance of securing the countenance of a person of such influence, slackened his pace to assist him, although cursing in his heart the encumbrance that ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... you must admit that now and then I have been at no small pains to—er—assist you. But there, I don't intend to speak of the past; and to tell the truth, I suspect that we are of one mind. You regard me as more or less of an encumbrance; you think your movements are hampered; you consider yourself to be treated as a ...
— Under the Andes • Rex Stout

... serious for his purpose, and for the character of the narrative. In changing his plan, however, which wets done in the course of printing, the early sheets retained the vestiges of the original tenor of the story, although they now hang upon it as an unnecessary and unnatural encumbrance. The cause of such vestiges is ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... appear strange to the inexpert. These must bear in mind the great density of the water of the sea, and the surprising results of transplantation to that medium. To understand a little what these are, and how a man's weight, so far from being an encumbrance, is the very ground of his agility, was the chief lesson of my submarine experience. The knowledge came upon me by degrees. As I began to go forward with the hand of my estranged companion, a world of tumbled stones {174} was visible, pillared with the weedy uprights of the staging: overhead, ...
— A Book of English Prose - Part II, Arranged for Secondary and High Schools • Percy Lubbock

... blood-stained face—was visible; and then a gust of wind lifted his mantle and flung it about his head so that all was concealed; and an exquisite pity for him was aroused—while he struggled painfully to rid himself of the encumbrance—by the imposition of that petty annoyance upon his mortal agony of ...
— The Christmas Kalends of Provence - And Some Other Provencal Festivals • Thomas A. Janvier

... raised his eyebrows quizzically. "I guess you came out of the Middle Ages!" he observed—"What's 'love'? Did you ever know a woman with millions of money who got 'loved'? Not a bit of it! Her MONEY is loved—but not herself. She's the encumbrance ...
— The Secret Power • Marie Corelli

... we the more devout a great deal. And yet we were cast down, and beaten down many times to the hard earth by winds and thunders and tempests. But evermore God of his grace holp us. And so we passed that perilous vale without peril and without encumbrance, ...
— The Travels of Sir John Mandeville • Author Unknown

... Time was getting very short. I wanted to dodge the shelling, but had missed a quiet interval that occurred at 2.30 a.m. At 3 a.m. I moved, leading the party in a long column over the open ground north of Fayet to reach its eastern side. The inevitable 'wire mats,' an encumbrance without which few raiding parties ever started, hampered the progress. It was a pitch dark night, nor was I certain of the way. To cover the mile and then pass 150 men, ignorant of their whereabouts, silently and in single file through a gap ...
— The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry • G. K. Rose

... possibly be extracted for the latter from the idea of his success with that lady, whose quick apprehension of what might amuse her had given Strether a free hand. What had she meant if not to ask whether she couldn't help him with his splendid encumbrance, and mightn't the sacred rage at any rate be kept a little in abeyance by thus creating for his comrade's mind even in a world of irrelevance the possibility of a relation? What was it but a relation to be regarded as so decorative and, in especial, on the strength of it, to be ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... encircled by the lost trap. The bear lifted the iron glove towards his face, examined it, turned his paw round and round, bent his head from side to side, looked at the trap askance with the most puzzled air, felt the encumbrance, tapped it on the rock, and evidently knew not what to do. Then he began to feel pain and licked it; but Ruhe soon put an end to all his conjectures, by shooting ...
— Anecdotes of the Habits and Instinct of Animals • R. Lee

... out of it, with the assistance of ill nutrition and bad ventilation. Dick's own mother and father were dead, and his stepmother, a rough-looking creature, when she remembered him at all, looked upon him as a useless encumbrance, and by her neglect ...
— What Two Children Did • Charlotte E. Chittenden

... win; but parry those invitations ludicrously, 'et en badinant'. Say that, if you were sure to lose, you might possibly play, but that as you may as well win, you dread 'l'embarras des richesses', ever since you have seen what an encumbrance they were to poor Harlequin, and that, therefore, you are determined never to venture the winning above two louis a-day; this sort of light trifling way of declining invitations to vice and folly, is more becoming your age, and at the same time ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... their offices, their washing-ground, and the mews at the back. She had never seen him look so grave; she had never seen that soft, sad look on his face before. She wondered now that she could ever have regarded that face as a mere encumbrance and accessory to be taken with a coronet ...
— M. or N. "Similia similibus curantur." • G.J. Whyte-Melville

... fear of their appeal to the Long Parliament, then busy in its task of abating church nuisances, had agreed to give him sixty pounds per year, in the place of a poor tippling curate, notorious as a common railer and pothouse encumbrance. ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... her health became undermined to a serious extent. She became subject to fits of an epileptic nature, and having injured herself in some of these, she allowed the injuries to be attributed to her husband, whom she had now grown to regard as an encumbrance. Though she was aware that he was not insane, she allowed him to be removed to an asylum, where confinement soon completed the work begun by her own conduct. The Abbe Faujas having resolutely resisted her advances, her health became still worse, and ...
— A Zola Dictionary • J. G. Patterson

... poor woman had reached a point where she dreaded the consequences of her death far more than death itself. Her tender solicitude for Balthazar showed itself in the resolution she had this day taken. By freeing his property from encumbrance she secured his independence, and prevented all future disputes by separating his interests from those of her children. She hoped to see him happy until she closed her eyes on earth, and she studied ...
— The Alkahest • Honore de Balzac

... Gwynne is taking upon herself a risk and encumbrance that should be wholly my mother's. She has nothing to do with the girl, ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... rode the animals were gayly trapped out and made a great noise when the race started. Their shouting and wildly waving hats, added no little to the frenzy of the steers. One animal tripped and threw his rider, and another balked outright and began to stampede. Finding he could not dislodge the encumbrance that clung to his back, he suddenly threw himself ...
— Polly and Eleanor • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... crossed its threshold, there was no human form visible without its walls. The bell ceased its monotonous and mournful note, and the tall, gaunt form of the divine moved through the narrow aisle to its usual post, with the air of one who had already more than half rejected the burthen of bodily encumbrance. A searching and stern glance was thrown around, as if he possessed an instinctive power to detect all delinquents; and then seating himself, the deep stillness, that always preceded the exercises, reigned in ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... pony,' he said to Mary, but Mary declared herself quite capable of going on foot, so the ponies were dispensed with as a possible encumbrance. ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... full. Next to Alvina sat a trim Frenchwoman reading L'Aiglon. There was a terrible encumbrance of packages and luggage everywhere. Opposite her sat Ciccio, his black overcoat open over his pale-grey suit, his black hat a little over his left eye. He glanced at her from time to time, smiling constrainedly. ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... days of old," said Fakrash, "all men pursued wealth; nor could any amass enough to satisfy his desires. Have riches, then, become so contemptible in mortal eyes that thou findest them but an encumbrance? ...
— The Brass Bottle • F. Anstey

... imprisonment in the north for an entire year, or a return around the coast by dog train in winter. The former of these alternatives was out of the question; the latter would be impossible with an encumbrance of four men, for dog teams and drivers in the early winter are usually all away to the hunting grounds and hard to engage. I therefore concluded that but one course was open to me. Three of the men must be sent back and with ...
— The Long Labrador Trail • Dillon Wallace

... the parallel road, heard the firing, and detached the grenadier company of the Antrim militia to the aid of Walpole. These, to the amount of seventy men, were cut off almost to a man; and when the general, who could not cross over to the other road, through the enclosures, from the encumbrance of his artillery, had at length reached the scene of action by a long circuit, he found himself in the following truly ludicrous position: The rebels had pursued Colonel Walpole's division to Gorey, and possessed themselves of that place; the general ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... now no safety for you in Salem, and that a speedy flight can alone ensure your liberty. You have made a great sacrifice for my sake; and I will also make one for yours. I will not even ask to fly with you, for I could only be an encumbrance to you at this inclement season of the year, and my presence here may be of use to you. My heart rebels while I say it, Roger; but you must go alone, and use every exertion to reach Plymouth as speedily as possible. When you ...
— The Pilgrims of New England - A Tale Of The Early American Settlers • Mrs. J. B. Webb

... beside the colonel, I could observe, by the knitting of his brow, that the movement did not satisfy his military sagacity. "What a quantity of baggage!" he murmured: "how will it be possible to carry such a train through the country, or how to fight, with such an encumbrance embarrassing every step? Unless the Spanish generals are the greatest fools on earth, or unless Dupont has a miracle worked for him, he must either abandon three-fourths of his ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 58, Number 360, October 1845 • Various

... and one-quarter of her steam trawlers and other fishing boats. These ships are to be delivered within two months to the Separation Committee, together with documents of title evidencing the transfer of the ships free from encumbrance. ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... of a husband; who joyed in boys' games, and sentimentalized over such things as adventure; who was healthy and normal and wholesome, and who was so immature that a husband stood for nothing more than an encumbrance in her ...
— Adventure • Jack London

... same charioteer took the crested, plated, four-bordered battle-cap with variety of every colour and every figure, reaching [5]down[5] over the middle of his shoulders behind. It was an adornment for him and not an encumbrance. With his hand he placed the red-yellow frontlet—like one red-golden strip of glowing gold smelted over the edge of an anvil—on his forehead as a token of charioteering, to distinguish him from his master. He opened the hobbles that fastened ...
— The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Tain Bo Cualnge • Unknown

... ensued. The mule ran off with his rider, and ascended a high bank, on the side of which stood a coal-house, filled with coal through an aperture in the top. At length, Independence, in the hope of clearing himself of his encumbrance, entered the coal-house at full speed, the colonel firmly keeping his seat, and both came down an inclined plane of coal, not less than thirty feet in height. On reaching the ground without injury, Burr hired a man to lead the animal a ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... his independent life with his unpaid farm of 160 acres. Now he owns 3,000 acres of land paid for and without encumbrance, with the virtual ownership of a fine stream, at some points 500 feet wide, which for five miles runs through his extensive plantations. On this stream he has a brick yard, a saw mill, a grist mill and a cotton gin and compressing mill combined in one and operated ...
— The American Missionary - Volume 52, No. 2, June, 1898 • Various

... course, with all adjuncts of accruing interest, and Mr. Neefit should go on making breeches for him to the end of the chapter. And for raising this money he had still a remnant of the old property which he could sell, so that he need not begin by laying an ounce of encumbrance on his paternal estates. He was very clear in his mind at this period of his life that there should never be any such encumbrance in his days. That remnant of property should be sold, and Neefit, Horsball, and others, should be ...
— Ralph the Heir • Anthony Trollope

... Amenothes Pharaohs the expression of their wishes or their loyalty; we now behold them, after an interval of four hundred years and more*—during which we have no examples of their monuments—possessed of a short and commodious script, without the encumbrance of ideograms, determinatives, polyphony and syllabic sounds, such as had fettered the Egyptian and Chaldaean scribes, in spite of their cleverness in dealing with them. Phonetic articulations were ultimately resolved ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 6 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... set, we found later, a little way back on an old wood road. Evidently a bear had been caught there, perhaps two or three days before we came. He had dragged the trap and the chained clog down into the thicket. There he had stayed, tearing up things generally in his efforts to escape from his encumbrance, and resting quietly in the intervals of his fury. My approach had startled him and he had made the first crash that I heard. Then he lay low and listened. My second inconsiderate shout of "Hallo, Teddy!" had put such an enormous fear into him that ...
— Days Off - And Other Digressions • Henry Van Dyke

... girl; she would grace any station in life. He had always been rather in awe of her. It was a fine thing to be suddenly loved by her, to be in a position to over-rule her every whim. Plighting his troth, he had feared she would be an encumbrance, only to find she was a lever. But—was he deeply in love with her? How was it that he could not at this moment recall her features, or the tone of her voice, while of deplorable Miss Dobson, every lineament, every accent, so vividly ...
— Zuleika Dobson - or, An Oxford Love Story • Max Beerbohm

... invited, or commanded, to attend on the bridal accordingly, at which there were but few persons present; for James, on such occasions, preferred a snug privacy, which gave him liberty to lay aside the encumbrance, as he felt it to be, of his regal dignity. The company was very small, and indeed there were at least two persons absent whose presence might have been expected. The first of these was the Lady Dalgarno, the state of whose health, as well as the recent death of her husband, ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... praise its tint, which I abominate, and its shape, which is wholly detestable. What would you? I could not wound my good Guiseppe; the vase has remained, the chief ornament—in his eyes—of my drawing-room. Now, thanks to you, my charming child, I am delivered of this encumbrance, and my poor white and gold can appear without this ...
— Hildegarde's Neighbors • Laura E. Richards

... fingers through his crisp hair with an expressive gesture of almost comical perplexity; all would be plain sailing enough, with hope at the prow again, but for this—he stamped his foot to choke down the oath of qualification—this encumbrance. Adrian's wife and Madeleine's sister, as such entitled to all honour, all care, and devotion; and yet, as such again, hideously, ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... labor is of an army on its march: then consider that they carry more than a fortnight's provision, and whatever else they may want; that they carry the burden of the stakes,[34] for as to shield, sword, or helmet, they look on them as no more encumbrance than their own limbs, for they say that arms are the limbs of a soldier, and those, indeed, they carry so commodiously that, when there is occasion, they throw down their burdens, and use their arms as readily as their limbs. Why need I mention the exercises of the legions? And how great ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... know you would experience small trouble eluding the Spaniards, or even cutting your way through them, were I not with you. Yet this is not beyond remedy. I had sincerely hoped to prove of service when I usurped the slave's place in the boat; instead, I am an encumbrance, a weakling whom you must protect at the risk of your own lives. Fortunately it is not yet too late to leave you free; it cannot be many miles back to New Orleans, and the current would bear me swiftly downward. I have loyal friends in the town to hide the daughter of Lafreniere, ...
— Prisoners of Chance - The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, - through His Love for a Lady of France • Randall Parrish

... he stood gazing down at his ebony encumbrance, "I do not deserve to be an American citizen; I ought not to have the advantages I possess over you; and I certainly am not worthy of Charity Lomax, if I am not smart enough to get rid of you. I have an idea! You shall yet be free, and I will be the instrument of your deliverance. ...
— The Wife of his Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line, and - Selected Essays • Charles Waddell Chesnutt

... and sluggish souls, who always see difficulties and never the way to get over them? And who that has had to lead a company of Christian men has not often been ready to wish that he could sound out Gideon's proclamation, and bid the 'fearful and afraid' take away the chilling encumbrance of their presence, and leave him with thinned ranks of trusty men? Cowardice, dressed up as cautious prudence, weakens the efficiency of every regiment in ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... if we should abide here he would come against us with all his power, and with all the power of the Moors, and we could not stand against him. If therefore it seem good unto you, let us leave the rest of our prisoners here, for it does not beseem us to take any with us, but to be as free from all encumbrance as may be, like men who are to live by war, and to help ourselves with our arms. And it pleased them well that it should be so. And he said to them, Ye have all had your shares, neither is there anything owing to any one among ye. Now then let us be ready to take horse ...
— Chronicle Of The Cid • Various

... ornament, there must never be any sense of gap or blank, neither any sense of there being a single member, or fragment of a member, which could be spared. Whatever has nothing to do, whatever could go without being missed, is not ornament; it is deformity and encumbrance. Away with it. And, on the other hand, care must be taken either to diffuse the ornament which we permit, in due relation over the whole building, or so to concentrate it, as never to leave a sense of its having got into knots, and curdled upon some points, and left the ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin

... thoughts which had lain dumb in men's brains for more than half their lifetime suddenly woke up into speech and activity by the influence of a woman great enough to call them forth. The adoring seraph would be an encumbrance, and nothing better than a child upon his hands; and the soul which had to be awakened and directed by him would run great chance of remaining torpid and inactive all its days. He has his own life to lead and round off, and so far from wishing ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... Prince and the estates could succeed in ridding themselves of this encumbrance. He created several riots in different parts of the province, and boasted, that he had many fine ships of war and three thousand men devoted to him, by whose assistance he could make the estates "dance ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... cardboard boxes. Quantities of various cardboard boxes! Her mother kept everything, could not bear that anything which had once been useful should be abandoned or destroyed; whereas Hilda's propensity was to throw away with an impatient gesture whatever threatened to be an encumbrance. Sighing, she began to arrange the contents of the trays in some kind of method. Incompetent and careless mother! Hilda wondered how the old thing managed to conduct her life from day to day with even ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... in the same manner, the two forming a striking, but by no means attractive, picture. The meat was obviously tough, but their teeth were equal to the work, and plates, knives and forks would have been only an encumbrance. ...
— The Lost Trail - I • Edward S. Ellis

... surgeon," quoth Lord Claud, with a smile on his face; "perchance they are wise. For myself, I never trouble to do so. I count a leech a needless encumbrance." ...
— Tom Tufton's Travels • Evelyn Everett-Green

... women and children joined the camp, and the march eastward was very slow. But no circumstance extols more loudly the bravery and tenderness of these American soldiers than the patience with which this encumbrance was endured. Men worn out with watching and foraging were never too weary to help some mother still more weary, or to carry some little child whose swollen feet would no longer ...
— Remember the Alamo • Amelia E. Barr

... errand is a futile one. Why do they worry me when I unhesitatingly pay the extravagant interest they are pleased to demand? They know that they are all knaves. They are aware that I am rich, for I have inherited a great fortune, which is certainly without encumbrance; for though I could raise a million to-morrow upon my estates in Poitiers, I have up to this time not chosen to ...
— Caught In The Net • Emile Gaboriau

... and to perform their accustomed duties; and the one holding his sandals in his hand, that he may run with greater ease, illustrates a custom, still common in Egypt, among the Arabs and peasants of the country, who find the power of the foot greater when freed from the encumbrance ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... airships as were available in the early part of the war had not the necessary power and range. To build a vessel which should be able to carry seaplanes or aeroplanes for work with the fleet was not a simple matter. Such a vessel would be an encumbrance unless it could keep station with the Grand Fleet or with the Battle Cruiser Squadron, that is, unless it could steam up to thirty knots for a period of many hours together. Further, a stationary ship at sea is exposed ...
— The War in the Air; Vol. 1 - The Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force • Walter Raleigh

... suite, and would have cared little for his suffering for it personally, except so far as it concerned her own dignity, which she understood much better than she had done in Scotland, where she was only one of 'the lassies,' an encumbrance ...
— Two Penniless Princesses • Charlotte M. Yonge

... there is such a plentiful crop of the superior quality, your native teachers are mere propagators of degeneracy. Ecco! your curls are now of the right proportion to neck and shoulders; rise, Messer, and I will free you from the encumbrance of this cloth. Gnaffe! I almost advise you to retain the faded jerkin and hose a little longer; they give you the air of ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... calculating the distance from the palace to the fortress, and she came to the conclusion that a body of persons moving with some encumbrance might easily reach the stronghold in half a day. Her plan was a simple one, and easy of execution; though there was no limit to the evil results its success ...
— Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster • F. Marion Crawford

... white feet of that original preferred fairness and wildness. This is rank embroidery, but the old surface itself insists on spreading—it waits at least with an air of its own. The rest is silence; I can—extraordinary encumbrance even for the most doating of parents on a morning call—but have returned with my father to "our hotel"; since I feel that I must not only to this but to a still further extent face the historic truth that we were for considerable periods, during our earliest time, ...
— A Small Boy and Others • Henry James

... further use to the divisions, but rather an encumbrance upon them, was massed, under Grierson, behind the centre, and assigned to the duty of guarding the rear, the depots, and the communications against the incursions of the Confederate cavalry, under Logan, known to be hovering between Port Hudson and Clinton, and supposed ...
— History of the Nineteenth Army Corps • Richard Biddle Irwin

... first discharge both himself and his mind of the burden with which he finds himself oppressed, motion will but make it press the harder and sit the heavier, as the lading of a ship is of less encumbrance when fast and bestowed in a settled posture. You do a sick man more harm than good in removing him from place to place; you fix and establish the disease by motion, as stakes sink deeper and more firmly into the earth by being moved ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... business conversations as against the giggling, gurgling ups and downs of conversations purely social, "I have made up my mind to come in every morning and help Uncle Pat. I'm tired of being a useless encumbrance." ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... more rapidly, making a detour occasionally to avoid a swamp or piece of broken ground; sometimes descending a deep gorge formed by a small tributary of the stream they were ascending, and which to an unpractised eye would have appeared almost impassable, even without the encumbrance of a canoe. But the said canoe never bore Jacques more gallantly or safely over the surges of lake or stream than did he bear it through the intricate mazes of the forest; now diving down and disappearing altogether in the umbrageous ...
— The Young Fur Traders • R.M. Ballantyne

... been prodigious and dense, especially in the reigns of the more prosperous kings. Whatever limits to the increase of man artificial wants may interpose in a civilised state and in ordinary climates are unknown in a tropical region, where clothing is an encumbrance, the smallest shelter a home, and sustenance supplied by the bounty of the soil in almost spontaneous abundance. Under such propitious circumstances, in the midst of a profusion of fruit-bearing-trees, and in a country replenished ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... hated my idleness. Borrowings of money, sometimes absolute want, and almost constant misery, followed as a matter of course. I Had a full conviction that my life was taking me down to the lowest pits—a feeling that I had been looked upon as an evil, an encumbrance, a useless thing, a creature of whom those connected with me had to be ashamed. Even my few friends were half-ashamed of me. I acknowledge the weakness of a great desire to be loved—a strong wish ...
— Confessions and Criticisms • Julian Hawthorne

... arrived, and it was time for Mr. Pickwick to issue forth on his delicate errand. Resisting Sam's tender of his greatcoat, in order that he might have no encumbrance in scaling the wall, he set forth, followed by ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... in the least desired to saddle himself with a domestic encumbrance, in fact nothing would have induced him to consider the step if he had not been driven hard by circumstances. His fortunes had reached a stage where money must be forthcoming somehow—from somewhere. He and his mother had been living from hand to mouth, so to speak, for years, and ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... take offence at it; but that any further interposition on their parts would have ill become them to make, or her to bear: that even while she was a private person, and exposed to much danger from the malice of her enemies, she had always declined that engagement, as an encumbrance; much more at present must she persevere in that sentiment, when the charge of a great kingdom was committed to her, and her life ought to be devoted to its interests: that as England was her husband, wedded to her by this pledge (and here she exhibited her finger ...
— Coronation Anecdotes • Giles Gossip

... he said as he entered. "Rinaldo, do you see that the men come out one by one. As each comes out a weapon will be placed in his hands, and he will be then led to the starboard side of the hold, which is free from encumbrance, and will there stand until he receives orders to move further. Remember that not the slightest noise must be made, for if any stumbled and fell, and the noise were heard above, it might be thought that some of ...
— The Lion of Saint Mark - A Story of Venice in the Fourteenth Century • G. A. Henty

... called home, and there Rosanna Moore fell dangerously ill. Whyte, who had missed her, found out where she was, and that she was too ill to be removed. I presume he was rather glad to get rid of such an encumbrance, so he went back to his lodgings at St. Kilda, which, judging from the landlady's story, he must have occupied for some time, while Rosanna Moore was drinking herself to death in a quiet hotel Still he does not break off ...
— The Mystery of a Hansom Cab • Fergus Hume

... three or four great rivers, still almost unknown, that flow into the head-waters of Chesterfield Inlet. In the beginning of June, as the snow began to melt, progress grew more and more difficult. Snowshoes became a useless encumbrance, and on the 10th of the month even the sledges were abandoned. Every man must now shoulder a heavy load. Hearne himself staggered under a pack which included a bag of clothes, a box of papers, a hatchet ...
— Adventurers of the Far North - A Chronicle of the Frozen Seas • Stephen Leacock

... violent sick headache, brought on by the heat of the sun in the launch. She declares that she cannot move; but our experienced escort, who much fears bilious fever for her, is resolved that she shall as soon as any means of transit can be procured. Heretofore, I have always traveled "without encumbrance." Is it treasonable to feel at this moment that these fair ...
— The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither • Isabella L. Bird (Mrs. Bishop)

... mortal sight and reach. But, glad as was the schemer, his delight and sense of freedom were much inferior to those of his misguided and unlucky partner. Michael breathed as a man relieved from nightmare. The encumbrance which had for years prevented him from rising, that had so lately threatened his existence, was gone, could no longer hang upon him, haunt and oppress him. What a deliverance!—Yet, what a price had he paid for it! True, but was not ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... his teeth, and the spirit wishing to enter into all the hopes and fears of jelly-fish will simplify his personal appearance to a really alarming extent. It would appear, therefore, that this great body of ours and all its natural instincts, of which we are proud, and justly proud, is rather an encumbrance at the moment when we attempt to appreciate things as they should be appreciated. We do actually go through a process of mental asceticism, a castration of the entire being, when we wish to feel the abounding good ...
— The Defendant • G.K. Chesterton

... overtook her just above Grand Gulf, and attacked her after dark on the 24th of February. The Indianola was superior to all the others in armament, and probably would have destroyed them or driven them away, but for her encumbrance. As it was she fought them for an hour and a half, but, in the dark, was struck seven or eight times by the ram and other vessels, and was finally disabled and reduced to a sinking condition. The ...
— Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Complete • Ulysses S. Grant

... France," said Ethel, gravely; "he has a humpback, but he is very spiritual. Monsieur de Cadillan paid me some compliments the other night, and even asked George Barnes what my dot was, He is a widower, and has a wig and two daughters. Which do you think would be the greatest encumbrance, grandmamma,—a humpback, or a wig and two daughters? I like Madame de Florac; for the sake of the borough, I must try and like poor Madame de Moncontour, and I will go and see them whenever ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... Mediocrity is safe; this was always my Study, not to make any Advantage to myself from the Disadvantages of other People. I embraced as much as I could, that which the Greeks call Freedom from the Encumbrance of Business. I intermeddled with no one's Affairs; but especially I kept myself clear from those that could not be meddled with without gaining the ill Will of a great many. If a Friend wants my Assistance, I so serve him, as thereby not to procure any Enemies ...
— Colloquies of Erasmus, Volume I. • Erasmus

... a musing tone, which seemed more like a soliloquy than any thing else. "There was the estate, saddled with debt handed down from my grandfather to my father. It would have required years of economy and good management to free it from encumbrance. But my father's motto was always Dum vivimus vivamus and his only idea was to get what money he could for himself, and let his heirs look out for themselves. In consequence, heavier mortgages were added. He lived in Paris, enjoying himself, and left Chetwynde in charge of ...
— The Cryptogram - A Novel • James De Mille

... prove an encumbrance to Fred, out there; and I told him so. If Fred thought he was taking out a wife who would make shift, and put up pleasantly with annoyances, he was mistaken. Sibylla in Canvas Town! Poor girl! I wonder she ...
— Verner's Pride • Mrs. Henry Wood

... alarmed for his eldest daughter's health. His expenses are hourly increasing, and nothing but a timely retreat can save him from ruin. All this is the lobster; and, when over-excited nature has had time to manage this testaceous encumbrance, the daughter recovers, the finances are in good order, and every rural idea effectually excluded from ...
— Sydney Smith • George W. E. Russell

... is of no account," said Mr. St. Laurent; "she would sell better without it. If I buy her, I shall give away the little encumbrance." ...
— Autographs for Freedom, Volume 2 (of 2) (1854) • Various

... the land to be sold to the peasant cultivator at L. 40 an acre. They were paying this back at the rate of 4% on the purchase money, a rate that included both interest and sinking fund, so that at the end of forty years they would own the small estates free from encumbrance. The huge population of Birmingham is close to the properties. The men turned their attention mostly to strawberries, to which many acres were devoted. Costermongers would come out from Birmingham and buy fruit on the spot, selling part of it to the villas on the way back, and part in ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... a heavy burden on an impoverished country, and the treasury has not enough means to meet the demands constantly made upon it. The people are discontented and clamorous, and they ought to be freed from this encumbrance. A postscript dated July 19 refers to the king a dispute between the Audiencia and archbishop regarding ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, - Volume XIII., 1604-1605 • Ed. by Blair and Robertson

... signally unjust to lay upon you alone the reproaches that every being brought under the yoke (conjugium) has the right to heap upon that necessary, sacred, useful, eminently conservative institution,—one, however, that is often somewhat of an encumbrance, and tight about the joints, though sometimes it ...
— Petty Troubles of Married Life, Second Part • Honore de Balzac

... their circumstances, and to propose that all hands should unstrip their upper clothing when the higher parts of the rock were laid under water; that the seamen should remove every unnecessary weight and encumbrance from the boats; that a specified number of men should go into each boat, and that the remainder should hang by the gunwales, while the boats were to be rowed gently towards the Smeaton, as the course to the Pharos, or floating ...
— Records of a Family of Engineers • Robert Louis Stevenson

... miller came out and mounted his steed; the general contrived to rid himself of the encumbrance of the sack, and sat up, riding behind the man, who, suddenly turning round, saw a ghost, as he believed, for the flour that still remained in the sack had completely whitened his fellow-traveller and given him a most unearthly appearance. The frightened ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... she turned from Fred's door. It was not hard to work for the children—to support and domineer over Susan; but it was hard for such an alert uncompromising little soul to tolerate that useless hulk—that heavy encumbrance of a man, for whom hope and life were dead. She bit her lip as she discharged her sharp stinging arrow at him through the half-opened door, and then went down singing, to take her place at the table which her own hands had spread—which her own ...
— The Doctor's Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... had seemed to have a strong liking for her at one time, but of late years his delusions had gained upon him, and under their influence he seemed to regard her as an encumbrance and an extravagance. He was growing more and more solitary in his habits, more and more negligent of his appearance. He was up late at night, wandering about the house from the cellar to the garret, so that, his light being seen flitting ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... Stryker, tout court. He prided himself upon being considered a gentleman at large, a man of the world, whose opinion on all subjects was worth hearing. Since his last return from Europe, he had announced that he was looking about for that necessary encumbrance, a wife; but he took good care not to mention what he called his future intentions, until he had actually committed himself more than once. He had several times kindly offered to rich and beautiful girls, to take charge of themselves and their fortunes, ...
— Elinor Wyllys - Vol. I • Susan Fenimore Cooper

... has the sense also that he becomes more entirely than ever the chevalier of his mortal mother, of her sad cause. The devout, diligent hands clear away carefully the dust, the faded relics of her former worship; a worship renewed once more as the sacred spring, set free from encumbrance, in answer to his willing ministries murmurs again under the dim vault in its marble basin, work of primitive Titanic fingers—flows out through its rocky channel, filling the whole township ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... married, the man who used to beat me so cruelly. Whether she spent all the money left for me, or whether they both spent it, appears to be of little consequence; anyway, once it was gone I was regarded with black looks as an encumbrance, and turned out into the streets to make some money, or do something for my board and lodging, as they expressed it. I have already told you what the lodging was like. Well, the board part of it corresponded to the rest of the picture in every way. Crusts of old dry bread, which they ...
— The Tale of Lal - A Fantasy • Raymond Paton

... there. It is this which has stood between us and made all my efforts vain. I see it now and despise you for the falsehood you have shown me, vowing you loved no one but me until I married you, then letting me so soon discover that I was only an encumbrance to your enjoyment of the fortune I possessed. You treat me like a child, but I suffer like a woman, and you shall share my suffering, because you might have spared me, and you did not. Gilbert, ...
— Pauline's Passion and Punishment • Louisa May Alcott



Words linked to "Encumbrance" :   impedimenta, obstructor, impediment, headache, dead weight, incumbrance, interference, charge, vexation, preventive, concern, obstruction, pill, worry, burden, imposition, onus, obstructer, speed bump, fardel, clog



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