What does the word encumbrance mean?

Usage examples for encumbrance

  1. Efficiency and resolution were certainly needed; for this little inner company dared to attempt, in two- thirds of the time granted for the full payment of the eighteen hundred pounds, not only the discharge of that encumbrance, but various other obligations devolving upon the plantation, approximating six hundred pounds, or a third of the other sum. – William Bradford of Plymouth by Albert Hale Plumb
  2. As the infatuation, so beneficial to the church, was general; as the convulsions of the times rendered property of all descriptions exceedingly insecure; and, as many of the devout, equally frantic with the crusaders, were restrained, either by infirmity or other circumstances, from embarking in the holy enterprise, it was not difficult for the monks, amid the general frenzy, to induce such persons to become lay members of the monasteries, and to place their domains under the protection of those powerful institutions; an advantageous encumbrance which they always assumed with obliging avidity. – Monks, Popes, and their Political Intrigues by John Alberger
  3. How he ever got there it is difficult to say, for he had apparently neglected to provide himself with ready cash, doubtless deeming this a superfluity and a needless encumbrance. – Masters of French Music by Arthur Hervey