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Etymologies

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Examples

  • I am now an idler and cumberer of the ground; it may be excused to me perhaps by twenty years of industry and ill-health, which have taken the cream off the milk.

    Vailima Letters

  • He need not know anything whatever; he may be wholly useless and a cumberer of the earth; he may even be known to be a consummate scoundrel.

    Mark Twain: A Biography

  • After having been admired and valued as if its leaves were all emeralds and its buds apples of gold, it was spurned and ridiculed and everywhere cut down as a cumberer of the ground.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 35, September, 1860

  • The advantage of manufacture therein was so great that the owners of the property changed the remaining old mill into a storehouse; and now, as they wish to increase their business, it is to be torn down as a cumberer of the ground, to make room for a building of similar construction to the new mill.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 647, May 26, 1888

  • If he fail to do this, the rust of idleness eats into all his powers, till he becomes a useless cumberer of the ground; the world loses, and heaven gains nothing when this mortal puts on immortality.

    The Elements of Character

  • The mission of all literature is to make mankind both wiser and _better_, and the writer who fails to appreciate and act upon this truth is worse than a useless cumberer of society; he is a curse to his age, and, however great his present fame, will most assuredly be forgotten with the passing away of his generation.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864 Devoted to Literature and National Policy

  • Why has he not cut off this cumberer of the ground long ago?

    A Woman's Life-Work — Labors and Experiences

  • Make what rule you please, only keep it, or you will never be more than a cumberer of the ground.

    Stray Thoughts for Girls

  • And Old '61 had, in his turn, forgotten things -- that he was old, alone, a cumberer, everything but his determination to learn It. It.was not a scientific lesson.

    Four Girls and a Compact

  • "No, Audrey, I'm an utterly useless person -- a cumberer of the ground."

    The Hermit of Far End

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