To encumber something is to slow it down by placing heavy stuff on it. An encumbrance is something heavy that slows things down or makes things complicated or hard.
So, something or someone unencumbered is free from burdens, free from worries or responsibilities, or free from unneeded complications. Whatever is unencumbered can progress freely and easily.
un in KUM burd
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “an unencumbered spirit.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "His spirit was unencumbered.”)
encumber, encumbered, cumbersome, encumbrance, unencumbering
How to use it:
Say that something or someone is unencumbered by things or unencumbered of things (or, less commonly, unencumbered with things): "Unencumbered by bulky suitcases, the travelers quickly zipped across the people mover at the airport." "Unencumbered of their shoes, the children ran wild, their feet slapping energetically on the floor." "The process was efficient and unencumbered by ceremony." "Finally unencumbered by a long to-do list, we were able to really enjoy our weekend."
You can also put "unencumbered" before a noun: an unencumbered schedule, an unencumbered spirit, their unencumbered lifestyle on the islands, etc. And someone or something can simply be unencumbered, become unencumbered, feel unencumbered, etc.: "After evicting his abusive roommate, he suddenly felt relieved and unencumbered."
Lastly, some people use this word like an adverb: to move unencumbered, to rise unencumbered, to progress unencumbered, and so on.
I didn't realize how stressful a certain job really was until after I left. On the first day I wasn't there, the world seemed pleasantly quiet and still, and I felt almost startlingly unencumbered.
Having a child is basically a full-time job on its own, but I'd never wish to be unencumbered of it.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "unencumbered" means when you can explain it without saying "freed from burdens" or "not weighed down."
Think of a time you felt happy and carefree, and fill in the blanks: "Unencumbered by _____, I _____."
Example: "At our all-girls summer camp, unencumbered by the usual teenage desire to constantly look cute for the boys, I was able to focus on learning some new skills and making strong friendships."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our October game references some material that may be protected by copyright. I appreciate your understanding as I err on the side of caution by not publishing it here!
A Point Well Made:
“Some people don't remember that
listening and laughing and asking
no matter what your age”
1. The opposite of UNENCUMBERED is
2. I wish all software could be downloaded unencumbered by _____.
A. fresh features that make browsing online easier
B. junky add-ons that mess with settings like your default browser
C. a clearer method of organizing newly downloaded files and folders
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
That perfect word you need might come with a privative prefix like "un." Often overlooked in the search for just the right word, "un" lets you emphasize a regrettable lack of something, a pleasant freedom from something (like with unchoreographed and today's word, unencumbered), the absolute absence of something, and the continuing strength of something despite opposition (like with undimmed, undiluted, and undeterred.)
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