Entries linking to cumbersome
c. 1300, cumbren, combren, "to overthrow, destroy, probably a shortening of acombren "obstructing progress," from Old French encombrer, from combre "obstruction, barrier," from Vulgar Latin *comboros "that which is carried together," which is perhaps from a Gaulish word. The likely roots are PIE *kom (see com-) and *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children."
Weakened sense of "to hamper in movement, to obstruct or weigh down" is from c. 1300. Related: Cumbered; cumbering. Cumber-world (late 14c.) was an old word for any thing or person that encumbers the world without being useful; cumber-ground (1650s) was "useless or unprofitable thing or person."
word-forming element used in making adjectives from nouns or adjectives (and sometimes verbs) and meaning "tending to; causing; to a considerable degree," from Old English -sum, identical with some, from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with." Cognate with Old Frisian -sum, German -sam, Old Norse -samr; also related to same. "It usually indicates the possession of a considerable degree of the quality named: as mettlesome, full of mettle or spirit; gladsome, very glad or joyous" [Century Dictionary]. For the -some used with numbers (twosome, foursome, etc.), see -some (2).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to carry," also "to bear children."
It forms all or part of: Aberdeen; amphora; anaphora; aquifer; auriferous; bairn; barrow (n.1) "frame for carrying a load;" bear (v.); bearing; Berenice; bier; birth; bring; burden (n.1) "a load;" carboniferous; Christopher; chromatophore; circumference; confer; conference; conifer; cumber; cumbersome; defer (v.2) "yield;" differ; difference; differentiate; efferent; esophagus; euphoria; ferret; fertile; Foraminifera; forbear (v.); fossiliferous; furtive; indifferent; infer; Inverness; Lucifer; metaphor; odoriferous; offer; opprobrium; overbear; paraphernalia; periphery; pestiferous; pheromone; phoresy; phosphorus; Porifera; prefer; proffer; proliferation; pyrophoric; refer; reference; semaphore; somniferous; splendiferous; suffer; transfer; vociferate; vociferous.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit bharati "he carries, brings," bhrtih "a bringing, maintenance;" Avestan baraiti "carries;" Old Persian barantiy "they carry;" Armenian berem "I carry;" Greek pherein "to carry," pherne "dowry;" Latin ferre "to bear, carry," fors (genitive fortis) "chance, luck," perhaps fur "a thief;" Old Irish beru/berim "I catch, I bring forth," beirid "to carry;" Old Welsh beryt "to flow;" Gothic bairan "to carry;" Old English and Old High German beran, Old Norse bera "barrow;" Old Church Slavonic birati "to take;" Russian brat' "to take," bremya "a burden," beremennaya "pregnant."