Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To relieve of burdens or hardships.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To remove an encumbrance or burden from (someone or something).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To free from encumbrance, or from anything which clogs, impedes, or obstructs; to disburden.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To free from encumbrance or from whatever tends to encumber, burden, hamper, or impede; disburden: as, the troops disencumbered themselves of their baggage; to disencumber the mind of its prejudices; to disencumber an estate of debt.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. release from entanglement of difficulty

Etymologies

Obsolete French desencombrer, from Old French : des-, dis- + encombrer, to encumber; see encumber.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • It had saved the estate in the days when he had been almost beaten in the struggle to disencumber the vast holdings Isaac Travers 'wide hands had grasped.

    BY THE TURTLES OF TASMAN

  • When the Russian bureaucracy has finally succeeded in doing away with the vestiges of bourgeois property that hampered its rule over the economy, and in developing this economy for its own purposes, and in being recognized as a member of the club of great powers, it wants to enjoy its world in peace and to disencumber itself from the arbitrariness to which it is still subjected.

    2009 October

  • At the same time, she breathed in a whisper an anxious wish that she might be permitted to disencumber herself from the folds of the mantle which excluded almost the power of breathing, though intended only to prevent her seeing by what road she travelled.

    Castle Dangerous

  • MacEagh, in the meantime, proposed to Captain Dalgetty to disencumber himself of his armour, and gave him to understand that the women should transport it to a place of safety.

    A Legend of Montrose

  • It was the duty of these new companies, during a march, whenever the flanks needed to close in, to fall back to the rear, so as to disencumber the wings.

    Anabasis

  • The second tendency of the Vedantic movement was to disencumber itself progressively of the symbolic language, the veil of concrete myth and poetic figure, in which the Mystics had shrouded their thought and to substitute a clearer statement and more philosophical language.

    The Ages of Intuition

  • Actually, the Soviet Union did more than all the other allies to disencumber the Axis.

    Think Progress » Murtha: ‘There Is No Question’ The U.S. Military Is Turning Against The Iraq War

  • Having come to this resolution, the next thing was to disencumber himself of his irons.

    For the term of his natural life

  • When I expressed my surprize that the peasants did not disencumber their grounds of these stones; a gentleman, well acquainted with the theory as well as practice of farming, assured me that the stones, far from being prejudicial, were serviceable to the crop.

    The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

  • If this beneficent agency did not from time to time disencumber our crowded places, we should ever be living in narrow alleys with stinking gutters, and supply of water at the minimum.

    Castle Richmond

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