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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



... in a great rage, "just help me out of this entanglement of branches, and I'll rid the world from an encumbrance by smashing that fellow." ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... being of no 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 ...
— History of the Nineteenth Army Corps • Richard Biddle Irwin

... placed on the property, and in the title is recorded "no encumbrance except a small wooden house in which Mrs. Margaret Beall now lives, in which she ...
— A Portrait of Old George Town • Grace Dunlop Ecker

... Malachi 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 ...
— The Guardian Angel • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... with as much temper as he ever showed now, "let me tell you that you are a silly fool; you are more, you are an encumbrance. Your birth," he added, bitterly, "robbed me of your mother, and the fact of your being a girl deprived our branch of the family of their rights. Now that you have grown up, you prefer to gratify your whims rather than help me to realize the object of my ...
— Dawn • H. Rider Haggard

... to say that it is my duty to be by your side, my husband." And she colored at this word, being the first time she had ever used it. Raynal was silent. She murmured on, "I would not be an encumbrance to you, sir: I should not be useless. Gentlemen, I could add more to his comfort than he gives ...
— White Lies • Charles Reade

... in shoals; Mr and Mrs Quiverful and their three grown daughters. Mr and Mrs Chadwick and their three daughters. The burly chancellor and his wife and clerical son from Oxford. The meagre little doctor without encumbrance. Mr Harding with Eleanor and Miss Bold. The dean leaning on a gaunt spinster, his only child now living with him, a lady very learned in stones, ferns, plants, and vermin, and who had written a book about petals. A wonderful woman in her way was Miss Trefoil. ...
— Barchester Towers • Anthony Trollope

... incidentally, that a Boulton and Watt steam engine be used to pump water to supply the waterwheel.[7] Smeaton had thought of a flywheel, but he reasoned that a flywheel large enough to smooth out the halting, jerky operation of the steam engines that he had observed would be more of an encumbrance than a ...
— Kinematics of Mechanisms from the Time of Watt • Eugene S. Ferguson

... 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

... Foreigner, a German, I think, was in our Company; and that whilst Goldsmith was speaking, he observ'd the Doctor preparing to utter something. Unconsciously looking upon Goldsmith as a meer Encumbrance when compar'd to the greater Man, the Foreigner bluntly interrupted him and incurr'd his lasting Hostility by crying, "Hush, Toctor Shonson ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... all; who was genuinely appalled by the thought 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 ...
— Adventure • Jack London

... great the labour 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 burthen of the stakes,(83) 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 ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... quarantine." (Meneval, tome i. p. 123). For any one who has had to manage an office it is pleasant to find that even Napoleon was much dependent on a good secretary. In an illness of his secretary he said, showing the encumbrance of his desk, "with Meneval I should soon clear off all that." (Meneval, tome i. ...
— Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

... structural botanist. From 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 ...
— Wild Flowers Worth Knowing • Neltje Blanchan et al

... 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 ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... the chieftain, "should there be messengers to Halton with news and credentials so explicit that the estate was left without let or encumbrance to the Lady Fitz-Eustace? A web of mystery is here which we will speedily unravel. Who gave thee this deed? and wherefore shouldest thou conceal it?" said he, addressing ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... 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 a semblance of the decency of order. It ...
— Hilda Lessways • Arnold Bennett

... had first looked, had been typical of her loveless childhood. With her mother's death faded the one ray of light that had illumined her desolation. She was shifted from one nurse to another; and bar nurses were not allowed to love her, for she remained with them as an encumbrance and a burden. It was so difficult for the Captain to pay the pitiful sum demanded for his daughter's support—or rather it was so much easier for him not to pay it. So there always came a time when Diana was delivered ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... desires to be petted and fondled, to be caressed and flattered, but who is incapable of doing anything to contribute to his happiness at home or to his influence abroad, and he comes to feel that she is an encumbrance. If he clings to the old love, and cherishes the old conviction, he learns to treat his wife as a plaything, and to forget her as a helpmeet. He thinks of her as of a toy, which may be used or cast aside at pleasure. She knows and feels the lack of his love. If she becomes ...
— The True Woman • Justin D. Fulton

... a woman whom he had never loved; cursed his own vanity, that had induced him to saddle himself with such an encumbrance as a wife; and by alternate violence and moroseness, irritated her feelings, and roused her spirit. Neglect on his part produced indifference on her side; and as the means of gaiety and expense melted away, so did all respect and esteem for ...
— The King's Own • Captain Frederick Marryat

... the initiation of his new venture the play which Captain BRUCE BAIRNSFATHER and Captain ARTHUR ELIOT have written round the adventures of "Old Bill." In form it resembles a revue, but I prefer to call it a play, because it possesses a plot, distinct if slight—an encumbrance banned by most revue producers; and because it contains an abundance of honest spontaneous fun. The authors start with the advantage, if it be an advantage, that the principal characters are already familiar ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Aug 15, 1917 • Various

... 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 ...
— The American Missionary - Volume 52, No. 2, June, 1898 • Various

... have been more plainly delivered in few. Narration in dramatick poetry is, naturally tedious, as it is unanimated and inactive, and obstructs the progress of the action; it should therefore always be rapid, and enlivened by frequent interruption. Shakespeare found it an encumbrance, and instead of lightening it by brevity, endeavoured to recommend it ...
— Preface to Shakespeare • Samuel Johnson

... inward pang. "I have been engaged in various sorts of business,—a distiller, a trader to Africa, an East India merchant, a speculator in the stocks,—and, in the course of these affairs, have contracted an encumbrance of a certain nature. The purchaser of the estate shall merely be required to assume this burden ...
— The Intelligence Office (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... 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 kind of veneration he would have paid Karl's ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... mare was a dangerous encumbrance, for though she had fallen into the spirit of the thing at once and never uttered even the faintest whinny yet it would be far easier for the men to hear and see two than to detect one. Alcatraz strove to drive her back, sometimes whirling with teeth ...
— Alcatraz • Max Brand

... 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 ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... his rifle was an encumbrance; he needed both hands to keep from slipping. He had had the forethought to turn the muzzle downward, since Betty was above him. Now he craned his neck and sought to peer down along his body. Far away, somewhere, was a glint of sunlight, small but full of promise. He saw, as he had seen before, a ...
— Daughter of the Sun - A Tale of Adventure • Jackson Gregory

... fifteen years I had been dragging a heavy chain, with a huge block attached to it, cumbering my every motion. I had felt myself doomed to drag this chain and this block through life. All efforts, before, to separate myself from the hateful encumbrance, had only seemed to rivet me the more firmly to it. Baffled and discouraged at times, I had asked myself the question, May not this, after all, be God's work? May He not, for wise ends, have doomed me to this lot? A contest had been going on in my mind for ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... should not forget the question of rain. It is evident, then, that where there is frost there can be no rain; and accordingly, for nearly six months in the year, you can dispense altogether with that most unpleasant encumbrance, the umbrella. For it must be remembered that in Russia the snow does not fall in the soft feathery flakes to which we are accustomed in the more temperate latitudes. It comes down in showers of microscopic darts, ...
— Russia - As Seen and Described by Famous Writers • Various

... head. It was a very ordinary circumstance for a man with a bundle of straw on his shoulders and overhanging his head, to go down the High Street. Edward saw him cross the bridge which divided the town from the country, place his shaggy encumbrance by the side of the road, and leave ...
— Desperate Remedies • Thomas Hardy

... encumbrance to us on the march. But Stuart determined not to abandon them, and they were dragged on—a ...
— Mohun, or, The Last Days of Lee • John Esten Cooke

... although it was the fixed determination that there should be no formal speech-making; but Mr. Sanford happily comes to the rescue in a few remarks of unaccustomed humor, in which he sets the room in a roar by expressing his satisfaction at having married off one encumbrance, his modified rapture in the reflection that there were still two or three in the way of daughters and nieces whom he felt bound to similarly dispose of, his comfort in the sight of half a dozen such likely young officers ...
— Marion's Faith. • Charles King

... hostile, light colored, bearded cannibals. In the vicinity of Pebas dwell the inoffensive Yaguas. The shape of the head (but not their vacant expression) is well represented by Catlin's portrait of "Black Hawk," a Sauk chief. They are quite free from the encumbrance of dress, the men wearing a girdle of fibrous bark around the loins, with bunches looking like a mop hanging down in front and rear, and similar bunches hung around the neck and arms. The women tie a strip of brown cotton cloth about the hips. ...
— The Andes and the Amazon - Across the Continent of South America • James Orton

... bought land, out and out, in every direction around them, had they not preferred the easier terms of the leases. Now, that these same men, or their successors, have become rich enough to care more to be rid of the encumbrance of the rent than to keep their money, the rights of the parties certainly are ...
— The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin, Volume 1. - Being the Conclusion of the Littlepage Manuscripts • James Fenimore Cooper

... Layard, saw (60. 'Rambles in Ceylon,' in 'Annals and Magazine of Natural History,' 2nd series, vol. ix. 1852, p. 333.) a cobra thrust its head through a narrow hole and swallow a toad. "With this encumbrance he could not withdraw himself; finding this, he reluctantly disgorged the precious morsel, which began to move off; this was too much for snake philosophy to bear, and the toad was again seized, and again was the snake, after violent efforts to escape, compelled ...
— The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex • Charles Darwin

... useless encumbrance: no old sportsman or traveller cares to encumber himself with one; but a butcher's knife, carried in a sheath, is excellent, both from its efficient shape, the soft quality of The steel, its lightness, and the strong way in which the blade ...
— The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries • Francis Galton

... 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, traveling at a moderate pace only, as they would know that no instant pursuit could ...
— On the Pampas • G. A. Henty

... and the absence of any sign of wind induced the party to vote the mast and sails a useless encumbrance, and they were accordingly left ashore, and a spare pair of oars taken in their place. The irony of fate left it to Dick's lot to see the anchor was in proper trim and firmly secured—a task which he discharged with almost ...
— Follow My leader - The Boys of Templeton • Talbot Baines Reed

... Colonel Henry and Major Webb, as said "the Chief," had united, and here were two men who could be counted on to push the pursuit "for all they were worth." Hitherto, acting in the open country and free from encumbrance, the Indians had been hard to reach. Now they were being driven into their fastnesses among the mountains toward the distant shelter whither their few wounded had been conveyed, and where the old men, the women and children were in hiding. Now it meant ...
— A Daughter of the Sioux - A Tale of the Indian frontier • Charles King

... a place of penitence allowed to those who had clearly repented of their errors; and, moreover, when he heard that Mr. Peacocke was endeavouring to establish himself in Oxford as a "coach" for undergraduates, and also that he was a married man without any encumbrance in the way of family, there seemed to him to be an additional reason for pardoning that American escapade. Circumstances brought the two men together. There were friends at Oxford who knew how anxious the Doctor was to carry out that plan of his in reference to an usher, a curate, and a matron, ...
— Dr. Wortle's School • Anthony Trollope

... man, without encumbrance, who can have an undeniable character from his last situation, as headsman, hangman, and general executioner. He is accustomed to the use of thumbikins and the most approved and fashionable modes of torture; and officiated for many ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 341, March, 1844, Vol. 55 • Various

... that they are there, living to God, one with us, fellows of our life and love. So let us address ourselves afresh to the spiritual race, the course of faith. Let us, as athletes of the soul, strip all encumbrance off, "every weight" of allowed wrong, all guilty links with the world of rebellion and self-love; "the sin which doth so easily beset us," clinging so soon around the feet, like a net of fine but stubborn meshes, till the runner gives up the hopeless effort ...
— Messages from the Epistle to the Hebrews • Handley C.G. Moule

... which procured me so much honour, so many advantages, and helped to shorten so many mournful hours. My greatest encumbrance was the huge iron collar, with its enormous appendages, which, when suffered to press the arteries in the back of my neck, occasioned intolerable headaches. I sat too much, and a third time fell sick. A Brunswick sausage, secretly given ...
— The Life and Adventures of Baron Trenck - Vol. 2 (of 2) • Baron Trenck

... of the blacks, on fish and nardoo. The natives were especially kind to the unfortunate men. In Wills' diary we find frequent mention of the liberal hospitality they extended to them, but to a great extent the novelty soon died out, and the blacks began to find their white guests rather an encumbrance, and soon commenced shifting their camps to avoid ...
— The History of Australian Exploration from 1788 to 1888 • Ernest Favenc

... government.' Finally, he unhesitatingly asserted: 'No one who has ever lived in the Soudan can escape the reflection "What a useless possession is this land!"' And Colonel Stewart, who accompanied him and endorsed the memorandum, added: 'And what a huge encumbrance to Egypt!' Thus far there was complete agreement between the British ...
— The River War • Winston S. Churchill

... her freedom, for she had no mother, So that, her father being at sea, she was Free as a married woman, or such other Female, as where she likes may freely pass, Without even the encumbrance of a brother, The freest she that ever gazed on glass: I speak of Christian lands in this comparison, Where wives, at least, are ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... 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 ...
— Our Profession and Other Poems • Jared Barhite

... 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

... as great fury as before. The pellets 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 ...
— "Over There" with the Australians • R. Hugh Knyvett

... 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

... resolve it. Why, I can bless my friend or blast my foe, now that this delightful day has loaded me down with its delightful delightfulness! I've landed a legacy stuffed fit to burst, and not a single encumbrance attached! ...
— Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi • Plautus Titus Maccius

... sloping-stones the girl went blithely with her pail. She filled it at the well; and then she took off her hat, tied the strings together, and slung it over her arm; she lifted the heavy pail and balanced it on her head. But alas! in going up the smooth, slippery, treacherous rock, the encumbrance of her cloak—it might be such a trifle as her slung hat—something at any rate, took away her evenness of poise; the freshet had frozen on the slanting stone, and was one coat of ice; poor Nest fell, and put ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851 • Various

... impediment to celerity. I was fully impressed with the difficulties which you presented when discussing the subject of a change of position. To preserve the efficiency of your army, you will, of course, avoid all needless exposure; and, when your army has been relieved of all useless encumbrance, you can have no occasion to move it while the roads and the weather are such as would involve serious suffering, because the same reasons must restrain ...
— The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government • Jefferson Davis

... but they cannot do so without abandoning the means of earning a livelihood. They of necessity possess boxes of tools and instruments of labour, whatever their errant trade may be. Those of whom we speak were dragging their baggage with them, often an encumbrance. ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... his field-equipment—a neatly-rolled green canvas valise with his name and regiment stamped in bold block letters; his Sam Browne belt with automatic pistol holster attached; his sword—a mere token of authority but otherwise little better than a useless encumbrance—and a pair of binoculars in a leather case that bore signs of the excessive dampness of the climate on The Coast, as the littoral of the African shore 'twixt the Niger and the Senegal Rivers is invariably referred to by the ...
— Wilmshurst of the Frontier Force • Percy F. Westerman

... ever happen to inquire. I avoid all Booksellers; see them rarely, the blockheads; study never to think of them at all. Book-sales, reputation, profit, &c., &c.; all this at present is really of the nature of an encumbrance to me; which I study, not without success, to sweep almost altogether out of my head. One good is still possible to me in Life, one only: To screw a little more work out of myself, my miserable, despicable, yet living, acting, and so far imperial and celestial self; ...
— The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol II. • Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson

... a time something of their individual scope, bringing with them, if they be torn away too quickly, some cumbrous fragments of their recent association. That he may avoid this, a sensitive writer is often put to his shifts, and extorts, if he be fortunate, a triumph from the accident of his encumbrance. By a slight stress laid on the difference of usage the unshapeliness may be done away with, and a new grace found where none was sought. Addison and Landor accuse Milton, with reason, of too great a fondness for the pun, yet surely there is something to please the mind, as well as the ear, ...
— Style • Walter Raleigh

... said, "I'm just a useless encumbrance 'round the house; give me a corner where I may sit and look on ...
— Ailsa Paige • Robert W. Chambers

... which looked out from a rich profusion of short chestnut-curls; and although his armour was of a massive and simple form, he moved under it with such elasticity and ease, that it seemed a graceful attire, not a burden or encumbrance. A furred mantle had not sat on him with more easy grace than the heavy hauberk, which complied with every gesture of his noble form. Yet his countenance was so juvenile, that only the down on the upper lip announced ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... Horn, with a quiet smile; and he sighed faintly, as though he wished it were permissible to rid himself thus easily of his golden encumbrance. ...
— The Golden Shoemaker - or 'Cobbler' Horn • J. W. Keyworth

... thus drawn bodily out of its carriage, and Corinne sat heavily upon the ground, her new acquaintance sprawling in her lap. Notwithstanding that she bore the brunt of the fall upon the gravel, Corinne uttered no cry; but, disengaging herself from her encumbrance, she rose to her feet. The other baby imitated her, and Corinne, taking her by the hand, led her to the bench where she ...
— The Rudder Grangers Abroad and Other Stories • Frank R. Stockton

... the signal of departure, the camp was almost instantly broke up, and the troops fell into their ranks without delay or confusion. Besides their arms, which the legendaries scarcely considered as an encumbrance, they were laden with their kitchen furniture, the instruments of fortification, and the provision of many days. [62] Under this weight, which would oppress the delicacy of a modern soldier, they were trained by a regular step to advance, in about six hours, near ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 1 • Edward Gibbon

... 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 ...
— Days Off - And Other Digressions • Henry Van Dyke

... distinguished himself—we put to flight a superior force of King Ferdinand's hussars. These hussars were the scorn of our wild horsemen, and the contrast between the two was great indeed. The arms and appointments of the hussar were a sad encumbrance in this climate. He had his lance, sword, carbine, and a brace of pistols; and his clothing and trappings were those of a Hungarian trooper. He was obliged to have his horse's tail cut short, for on several ...
— In New Granada - Heroes and Patriots • W.H.G. Kingston

... 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 ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... from our animals, when half-way down the mountain, for we found that the trail was very insecure, and that a proper regard for our necks demanded a descent on foot. The horses, freed from our encumbrance, got along very well, and much faster than when guided by reins; but we found that, as we neared the foot of the hill, the animals manifested considerable reluctance to proceeding farther, and that some energy ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... 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 ...
— The Newcomes • William Makepeace Thackeray

... me, much reflecting 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

... the surrounding hills keep the garrison in, but they also form a formidable barrier to the advance of a relieving force. Thus it is that the ten thousand troops in Ladysmith are at this moment actually an encumbrance. To extricate them—I write advisedly, to endeavour to extricate them—brigades and divisions must be diverted from all the other easy lines of advance, and Sir Redvers Buller, who had always deprecated any attempt to hold Natal north of the Tugela, is compelled ...
— London to Ladysmith via Pretoria • Winston Spencer Churchill

... virgin and bewitching candour in her voice, her laugh—you might almost say in her very movements. Such was Camilla Beaufort at that age. Such she seemed to others. To her parents she was only a great girl rather in the way. To Mrs. Beaufort a rival, to Mr. Beaufort an encumbrance on the property. ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... that it is possible for the individual to have double or treble or multiple personalities. Thus the belief in the existence of soul conceived by the common sense turns out not only to be irrational, but a useless encumbrance on the religious mind. Therefore Zen declares that there is no such thing as soul, and that mind and body are one. Hwui Chung (Ye-chu), a famous disciple of the Sixth Patriarch in China, to quote an example, one day asked a monk: "Where did you ...
— The Religion of the Samurai • Kaiten Nukariya

... for them, burdened and 'trashed' [Footnote: 'Trashed'—This is an expressive word used by Beaumont and Fletcher in their Bonduca, etc., to describe the case of a person retarded and embarrassed in flight, or in pursuit, by some encumbrance, whether thing or person, too valuable to be left behind.] as they were, to anticipate so agile a light cavalry as the Cossacks ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... wave, at least in the yacht, for she always lives in it, and her cabin is quite a sight; she is great fun, she cooks when there is anything to cook, and is stewardess and everything. Francie and I knew a maid would be a vain encumbrance, so we are taking care of ourselves, and, if you will let me, I will try and set ...
— Modern Broods • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... what the press associations and the dailies would not touch. I do not think there can be any doubt of the genuineness of Harvey's motives at this time. His journal was rigidly non-partisan. He spared no one whom he considered as an encumbrance in the ...
— The Mirrors of Washington • Anonymous

... 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 of ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... his strange fantasies. Similar delusions have afflicted notable men of the world, and even to this day are there not apprehensive monarchs whose precautions are similar to those of the age-worn savage? He imagines that he is regarded as a useless encumbrance, and that his fellows would gladly hasten his departure to that country on the bourne of which he painfully lingers. Suspicious of plots to rob him of the poor vestiges of life, he is ever on his guard against poison, ...
— Tropic Days • E. J. Banfield

... running about on the ground, especially along the seashore or the banks of streams and lakes, and seldom, if ever, sit on a perch—in their case a fourth toe would be worse than a superfluous appendage; it would be an encumbrance, dragging along in the mud and mire. In these species it is the hind toe that is lacking, their three digits all being in front, where they are of the greatest service. There is another class of birds that have hind toes, though very much reduced because their ...
— Our Bird Comrades • Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser

... 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 the money already ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... small one; and such a situation as this had never come within range of his experience. In utter panic he lashed out with his powerful tail and darted forward, carrying the octopus with him. But the weight upon his head, the crushing encumbrance about his body, were too much for him, and bore him slowly downward. Suddenly two tentacles, which had been trailing for an anchorage, got grip upon the bottom—and the dolphin's frantic flight came to a stop abruptly. He lashed, plunged, whirled in a circle, ...
— Kings in Exile • Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

... time before, cunning Christopher gave his consent, curiously enough, to what was nothing more or less than the setting up of a rival company of actors. In the first place, he probably looked upon his players as an encumbrance, since he was in the vein for operatic entertainments just then, and, furthermore, he pictured himself as a future monopolist controlling the destinies of two houses. For he never dreamed, did this haggling, pettifogging lawyer, that Swiney would swerve from the old time allegiance to him, ...
— The Palmy Days of Nance Oldfield • Edward Robins

... right to the use of her own property, and no woman, even a widow, is the natural guardian of her own children? Even in Connecticut, under man's representation, a widow whose husband dies without a will is regarded by law as an encumbrance on the estate which she, through years of drudgery, has helped to acquire. She can inherit none of the houses or land, but has merely the use of one-third, while the balance goes to his relatives—rich, perhaps, and persons whom she never ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) • Various

... his craft, and that a newly-invented hunting-saddle at the window caught Walter's notice. The artful saddler persuaded the young traveller to dismount and look at "the most convenientest and handsomest saddle what ever was seed;" and the Corporal having lost no time in getting rid of his encumbrance, Walter dismissed him to the inn with the horses, and after purchasing the saddle, in exchange for his own, he sauntered into the shop to look at a new snaffle. A gentleman's servant was in the shop at the time, bargaining for a riding whip; and the shopboy, among others, shewed him a large old-fashioned ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... since I had ascertained, from my host of yesternight, that the greater portion of Section Number 9 was of just such a character; and that there was scarcely a spot upon it fit for a "homestead," except the one already occupied! "Such an 'encumbrance' on my estate," reflected I, "is worse than the heaviest mortgage;" and I should have been willing at that moment to part with the timber at a very "low valuation." But I well knew the value of such a commodity. On the Thames or the Mersey, a mine of wealth—on Mud Creek, ...
— The Wild Huntress - Love in the Wilderness • Mayne Reid

... been reported to the Collector of Customs, and the master was informed that all things considered, the best thing had been done in ridding himself of an awkward encumbrance. In a few days an emissary of the Gibraltar syndicate had an interview with the captain, and then disappeared. It was said that he was strongly advised to disappear, lest he should be detained by ...
— Looking Seaward Again • Walter Runciman

... favourite arm for ships' tops, but from the confined space and elevation rather an encumbrance than a useful addition. ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... was carefully detaching a root of celery from the rich loose soil which enveloped it, and shaking the white stalks free from their encumbrance, Mr. Bounder the while looking on approvingly, both at the celery, which was beautifully long and white and delicate, and at the condition of things generally on the ground, all of which his eye took in; although ...
— A Red Wallflower • Susan Warner

... 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 to ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... she spoke, and went to a writing-table fitted out with all the inventions known to man for the decoration of the desk and the encumbrance ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... the keys of St. Peter were henceforth so firmly bound that, though there have been great kings, and conquerors, and statesmen who have wielded that sword, not one to this day has been able, though many have desired, to wrench the encumbrance away. ...
— History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (of 2) - Revised Edition • John William Draper

... subject by imagination, nor illustrated it by wit, nor softened its details by pathos, he never made it the subject of vain attempts at the exhibition of either. He went into the arena, stripped of all encumbrance, to win, and contended studious only and always of victory. His presence of mind was not merely the absence of external distraction, nor the capacity of calling up all energies on an emergency, but the continued application ...
— Minnesota and Dacotah • C.C. Andrews

... her tongue and thanked her, praising her grace and passing seductiveness; and the damsel, delighted at his praise, arose without stay or delay and doffing that was upon her of outer dress and trinkets till she was free of all encumbrance sat down on his knees and kissed him between the eyes and on his cheek-mole. Then she gave him all she had put off.—And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 8 • Richard F. Burton

... as if you was an encumbrance your dad had to pay me to take off his hands," blurted Johnny distractedly. "Our being engaged ...
— The Thunder Bird • B. M. Bower

... 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 a ...
— Carpentry for Boys • J. S. Zerbe

... turns to ride the bull, and he made many attempts to shake us off; but as he had so much hair on his hump, we could cling on by that as we sat behind it. It was necessary for whoever was walking to lead him by his nose-rope, or he would have bolted away and rubbed his encumbrance off against a tree, or else rolled on it. In consequence of the camels having strayed so far, it was late in the day when we again started, the two horses looking fearfully hollow and bad. The morning as usual was very hot. There ...
— Australia Twice Traversed, The Romance of Exploration • Ernest Giles

... in Virginia's nature to remain long a helpless encumbrance. Seeing the labor and peril still before them, her will returned, and with it her strength. She grasped a branch by which he was trying in vain with one hand, holding her with the other, to draw them both up a steep place. Her ...
— Cudjo's Cave • J. T. Trowbridge

... Maryborough wants it, but I think won't succeed: Lord Melville, I am almost certain, will not take it. Vansittart would be the best appointment (supposing Charles Wynn can't succeed), and by this means we should get rid of a great encumbrance to the Government. I understand Lord Liverpool will not have Huskisson, and the King does not approve of his being in the Cabinet; but this, however, would be easily got over by making Robinson or Grant Chancellor of the Exchequer, ...
— Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 1820-1830 (Vol 1) - From the Original Family Documents • Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... me one of their life-jackets—an invaluable companion if a long immersion in the water is to be undergone. But for convenience in working the ropes and sails I was content to use the less bulky life-belt. It is conveniently arranged, and you soon forget it as an encumbrance. Indeed on one occasion I walked up to a house without recollecting that my life-belt ...
— The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy" • John MacGregor

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

... mother country. Material improvements in roads and canals, the introduction of steam, {69} the organization of labour, were immediately necessary. Education in all its stages must receive encouragement and recognition. Religion must be freed from the encumbrance of a vexatious controversy. Municipal institutions and local government had still to be introduced to teach the people the elements of self-government; and a broader system of colonial legislation and administration substituted for the discredited rule of assemblies ...
— British Supremacy & Canadian Self-Government - 1839-1854 • J. L. Morison

... fraction of an inch the old-fashioned "hand-colored" daguerreotype of his father in Confederate uniform. "Please don't wear that black dress again. It is no cause for mourning that we are rid of an encumbrance." ...
— The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations • James Branch Cabell

... afterward broke up their encampments and set off for a less beaten neighborhood. Captain Bonneville remained behind for a few days, that he might secretly prepare caches, in which to deposit everything not required for current use. Thus lightened of all superfluous encumbrance, he set off on the 20th of November to rejoin his Indian allies. He found them encamped in a secluded part of the country, at the head of a small stream. Considering themselves out of all danger in this sequestered ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... simply a Fellow of Lazarus in those former years. Then he became vicar of St. Ewold's, in East Barsetshire, and had not yet got himself settled there when he married the Widow Bold, a widow with belongings in land and funded money, and with but one small baby as an encumbrance. Nor had he even yet married her, had only engaged himself so to do, when they made him Dean of Barchester—all which may be read in the diocesan and county chronicles. And now that he was wealthy, the new dean did contrive to pay the debts of his poor friend, some lawyer ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... tugging at his sister's arm as hard as he could. When he found that he could not pull her out he too began to cry aloud. Elsli came to their aid, and lifted the little girl from her uncomfortable position. The boy then slowly worked his way out, but his wooden shoes were a great encumbrance, and he moved with difficulty. When the two children stood at last on dry land with their wet shoes and clothes soaked with muddy water, they presented a pitiable sight, and Elsli asked them sympathetically whether they were far from home, and ...
— Gritli's Children • Johanna Spyri

... they discovered very little that she could admire. She was none the 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 consolation ...
— The Eagle's Shadow • James Branch Cabell

... her 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

... 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 with chaste thoughts ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... purpose of leaving Fairy Knowe. At a late hour in the forenoon Lady Emily entered the apartment of Edith with a peculiar gravity of manner. Having received and paid the compliments of the day, she observed it would be a sad one for her, though it would relieve Miss Bellenden of an encumbrance: "My brother leaves us today, ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... commissary department as much as possible while encamped on the Ramsour battleground, and having experienced too much delay in his late march in consequence of the encumbrance of his baggage, Cornwallis destroyed, before moving, all such as could be regarded as superfluous. The baggage at head-quarters was first thrown into the flames, thus converting the greater portion of his army into light troops, with a view of renewing more rapidly the pursuit of Morgan, ...
— Sketches of Western North Carolina, Historical and Biographical • C. L. Hunter

... rock, and he said it was useless to try to go that way, and we retraced our steps. I wanted to return to the "Notch," knowing that my incompetence would detain the party, and one of the young men said almost plainly that a woman was a dangerous encumbrance, but the trapper replied shortly that if it were not to take a lady up he would not go up at all. He went on to explore, and reported that further progress on the correct line of ascent was blocked by ...
— A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains • Isabella L. Bird

... Deprive, divest, dispossess, strip, despoil. Despise, contemn, scorn, disdain. Despondency, despair, desperation. Detach, separate, sunder, sever, disconnect, disjoin, disunite. Determined, persistent, dogged. Devout, religious, pious, godly, saintly. Difficulty, hindrance, obstacle, impediment, encumbrance, handicap. Difficulty, predicament, perplexity, plight, quandary, dilemma, strait. Dirty, filthy, foul, nasty, squalid. Discernment, perception, penetration, insight, acumen. Disgraceful, dishonorable, shameful, disreputable, ignominious, ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... thought it for weeks, and now you say it. I've knowed it all along. I'm just an encumbrance, and the sooner you're shut of me the better, says you. You needn't to fret. I'll be soon out of it; out of it—out ...
— Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... Titania must go to market without the latter encumbrance," replied the lady; "The gentleman must find the ten thousand a-year, and I must bring as ...
— Jacob Faithful • Captain Frederick Marryat

... us the particular region of the earth peculiarly worthy of a second visit—or a third, as the case may be—all combine to stuff the lining of the diligence, the packsaddle of the Turkish post-horse, or the encumbrance on the back of the camel which may happen to convey us, with something softer than swandown. Time soon brings the demon of discontent to our society. The city and its inhabitants appear changed—rarely for the better, always less to our taste. Ameliorations and improvements ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 344, June, 1844 • Various

... repute as an inalienable possession; to see their faces, however, may yet do something for them! They felt themselves rich too while they had pockets, but they have already begun to feel rather pinched! My lord used to regard my lady as a worthless encumbrance, for he was tired of her beauty and had spent her money; now he needs her to cobble his joints for him! These changes have roots of hope in them. Besides, they cannot now get far away from each other, and they see none else of their own kind: they ...
— Lilith • George MacDonald

... survivors, the venture had put about two hundred and sixty pounds on the debit side of Joanna's accounts. She was able to meet her losses—her father had died with a comfortable balance in Lewes Old Bank, and she had always paid ready money, so was without any encumbrance of debt—but Ansdore was bound to feel the blow, which had shorn it of its fleece of pleasant profits. Joanna was for the first time confronted by the need for economy, and she hated economy with all the lavish, colour-loving powers of her nature. Even now she ...
— Joanna Godden • Sheila Kaye-Smith

... himself—his ghastly eye-sockets, his 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 body ...
— The Christmas Kalends of Provence - And Some Other Provencal Festivals • Thomas A. Janvier

... does that, her intuition prompted her to know that it is more than likely that he brings a woman with him. It is always possible for a woman to recognize—apart from her own identity—that her sex is an encumbrance to most men which they cannot easily shake off. Witness the generous criticism of a woman upon any husband but her own. Combine with this intuitive knowledge the fact—hitherto unrecorded, even by Traill to Sally—that ...
— Sally Bishop - A Romance • E. Temple Thurston

... 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

... treasure confers on the thirsty, hungry, and weary traveller; all his troubles for the time are at an end. Thirst, that dire affliction that besets the wanderer in the Australian wilds, at last is quenched; his horses, unloaded, are allowed to roam and graze and drink at will, free from the encumbrance of hobbles, and the traveller's other appetite of hunger is also at length appeased, for no matter what food one may carry, it is impossible to eat it without water. This was truly a mental and bodily relief. After our hunger had been satisfied I took a more extended survey of our surroundings, ...
— Australia Twice Traversed, The Romance of Exploration • Ernest Giles

... depends on the volume of that mass. Provided it be rigid, the bed-plate of an engine is no better for weighing 30 cwt. than for weighing 10 cwt. A saucepan is required to have a certain diameter and a certain depth in order that it may hold a certain bulk of liquid: its weight is merely an encumbrance. Copper being 3 1/3 times as heavy as aluminium, whenever the latter costs less than 3 1/2 times as much as copper it is actually cheaper. It must be remembered, too, that electrolytic aluminium only ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... quantities of similar rubbish lay lumbering the floor. It was sorrowful to think how many days, and weeks, and months, and years of toil had been wasted on these musty papers, which were now only an encumbrance on earth, and were hidden away in this forgotten corner, never more to be glanced at by human eyes. But then, what reams of other manuscripts—filled, not with the dulness of official formalities, but with the thought of inventive brains and the rich ...
— The Scarlet Letter • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... It would not do to wander out of my way with my present encumbrance. It was now somewhat after noon; the country people were eating their dinners or engaged about their barns; there was nobody upon the road. At some distance ahead of me was a small house standing well back behind a little group of trees, and I decided to go there and make inquiries. And as it would ...
— A Bicycle of Cathay • Frank R. Stockton

... her and was intending to "fly" the fence. But when he saw Mrs. Spooner pull her horse and pause, he also had to pull his horse. This he did so as to enable her to take her leap without danger or encumbrance from him, but hardly so as to bring his horse to the bank in the same way. It may be doubted whether the animal he was riding would have known enough and been quiet enough to have performed the acrobatic manoeuvre which had carried Mrs. Spooner so pleasantly over the ...
— The Duke's Children • Anthony Trollope

... the Shelley editions, 1818 and 1839, read clog, which is retained by Forman, Dowden, and Woodberry. Rossetti's happy conjecture, clod, seems to Forman 'a doubtful emendation, as Shelley may have used clog in its [figurative] sense of weight, encumbrance.'—Hardly, as here, in a poetical figure: that would be to use a metaphor within a metaphor. Shelley compares his heart to a concrete object: if clog is right, the word must be taken in one or other ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... emancipating policy which the 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 ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol V. Issue III. March, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various



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



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