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Meaning of encumbrance

en•cum•brance

Pronunciation: (en-kum'bruns), [key]
— n.
  1. something that encumbers; something burdensome, useless, or superfluous; burden; hindrance: Poverty was a lifelong encumbrance.
  2. a dependent person, esp. a child.
  3. a burden or claim on property, as a mortgage.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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