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a cumbersome piece of machinery
  difficult to handle — especially because of size or shape or weight


not elegant or graceful in expression
 Mark word for later review on this computer
cumbersome cumbersomely cumbersomeness
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  • a cumbersome piece of machinery
  • his cumbersome writing style
  • Can you help me move this box? It’s not heavy, but it is cumbersome.
  • navigating a cumbersome bureaucracy

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  • It was big and cumbersome where the minnie ball had chewed it in passing.
    Forest Carter  --  Education of Little Tree
  • He managed the cumbersome tableware as if it were its normal size and shape.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • Sherpas would progressively establish a series of four camps above Base Camp - each approximately 2,000 feet higher than the last - by shuttling cumbersome loads of food, cooking fuel, and oxygen from encampment to encampment until the requisite materiel had been fully stocked at 26,000 feet on the South Col.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • The buzzards feeding in the median heaved their cumbersome bodies into the air.
    Rick Yancey  --  The 5th Wave
  • Mae soon found her second glass of wine cumbersome, so she finished it.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • Sympathy could start a fire without flint or lift a heavy weight without cumbersome ropes and pulleys.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind

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  • With cumbersome slowness we are walking from one end of the huge living room to the other.
    Michael Ondaatje  --  Running in the Family
  • Pulling the magbelt out from beneath the hover, she folded it at its hinges, forming a less cumbersome metal rod.
    Marissa Meyer  --  Cinder
  • "Beautiful," said an older, female voice, and Celaena pivoted, the yards of cumbersome fabric twisting with her.
    Sarah J. Maas  --  Throne of Glass
  • It was only a few kilometers, but their suitcases were cumbersome and heavy.
    Karen Levine  --  Hana’s Suitcase
  • While this system sounds very cumbersome to us, back in 1871 it was considered quite speedy and efficient.
    Jim Murphy  --  The Great Fire
  • The only problem had been that it was difficult to handle such a large, cumbersome machine.
    Joshua Davis  --  Spare Parts
  • He mowed Bennington’s grass, moved cumbersome early American furniture around Mrs. Bennington’s plush antique shop, and acted as Bennington’s chauffeur, valet, and servant when the occasion demanded it.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • On the table was some official stationery in neat stacks, an orderly collection of pens and pencils, a cumbersome black office typewriter with the emblazoned trademark of Adler.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • But I dare say you’d find it a little bit cumbersome.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • I had gotten used to the fifty pounds of gear cumbersomely strapped to my back, torso, and legs.
    Wes Moore  --  The Other Wes Moore
  • "That’s enough practice," I said and started to take off the cumbersome costume, but they wouldn’t let me.
    Rudolfo Anaya  --  Bless Me, Ultima
  • Life is real again, and the useless and cumbersome and mischievous have to die.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • Already short of breath and struggling with the cumbersome volume, Langdon descended the ladder.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • They used to wear very little, but the ladies of England introduced the Mother Hubbard, a long, cumbersome, ill-fitting dress, completely shapeless, that inevitably gets dragged in the fire, causing burns aplenty.
    Alice Walker  --  The Color Purple
  • The work is not cumbersome, and, on their days off, she and Tariq take the children to ride the chairlift to Patriata hill, or go to Pindi Point, where, on a clear day, you can see as far as Islamabad and downtown Rawalpindi.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • One behind the other, the squadrons marched up the field, executed a cumbersome turn around the reviewing stand and marched down the field and back to their barracks.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • She looked down at her damp, dirty birthday dress: a flouncy thing, tight at the waist and poofing out below her knees in a cumbersomely wide circle, its collar high and floppy and ruffled.
    Frank Beddor  --  The Looking Glass Wars
  • They are unwieldy and cumbersome, and for generations the craft has been used to teach BUD/S students to pull a paddle as a tight-knit crew, blast their way through the incoming surf, nig properly, and drag the thing into place in a regimented line for inspection on the sandy beach about every seven minutes.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • The queen likewise ordered the thinnest silks that could be gotten, to make me clothes, not much thicker than an English blanket, very cumbersome till I was accustomed to them.
    Jonathan Swift  --  Gulliver’s Travels
  • Groangrousegurgling Toft’s cumbersome whirligig turns slowly the room right roundabout the room.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Though cumbersome, the binoculars would at least feel comfortable and familiar in his hands.
    Michael Crichton  --  The Andromeda Strain
  • Though no one directed that it should be so, the slow, cumbersome work of mountain climbing fell naturally to him and to Darsney.
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea
  • There’s been lots of turmoil at cumbersome federal departments like agriculture lately-more restructuring, though, than actual cost cutting.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • They would have taken the oxen back to the Varden, but the animals were too slow and cumbersome.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • Mounted on lumbering wooden carriages they were hampered with cumbersome harness of breechen and strong side-tackles for running them out.
    Herman Melville  --  Billy Budd
  • Sergeant Lowery documented the ascent with his cumbersome camera.
    James Bradley  --  Flags of Our Fathers
  • The combinations so obtained would he exceedingly numerous, useless and cumbersome.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • One was found to have too small a print for a child’s eyes, and the other to be too cumbersome for her to carry about.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • A cumbersome bear-love that, given any rein, would suck their breath away in its crying need for honey.
    Toni Morrison  --  Sula
  • I’d offered to carry it for a while, for it did look cumbersome, but she kept saying she was fine, that it was her gear and she would manage it, which quite impressed me.
    Kenneth Oppel  --  Airborn
  • Even the bed cooperates, as I slide like a whisper under the cumbersome quilts, sit up in bed, motionless.
    Ellen Hopkins  --  Identical
  • They were cumbersome to skin, and he and Gus had no need for so much meat.
    Larry McMurtry  --  Lonesome Dove
  • He felt that it would take all time, more than he could ever spare, to glue these strange cumbersome pictures into the scrap-book of his life.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • If visitors came in the morning, they began the cumbersome process of leave-taking around noontime.
    Betty Mahmoody  --  Not Without My Daughter
  • Now, upstairs, she changed into faded Levis and a green sweater, and fastened round her wrist her third most valued belonging, a gold watch; her closest cat friend, Evinrude, ranked above it, and surmounting even Evinrude was Bobby’s signet ring, cumbersome proof of her "going-steady" status, which she wore (when she wore it; the least flare-up and off it came) on a thumb, for even with the use of adhesive tape its man-size girth could not, be made to fit a more suitable finger.
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood
  • Though a little lower at the withers and nearly half a foot shorter, nose to tail, Seabiscuit seemed a cumbersome giant in comparison.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • She did not want to rely on her Power-Book, which would just be cumbersome to drag around.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • And so the eight months are put behind them, quickly shed, quickly forgotten, like clothes worn for a special occasion, or for a season that has passed, suddenly cumbersome, irrelevant to their lives.
    Jhumpa Lahiri  --  The Namesake
  • Her purchases were taken straight up to her own chamber, and she at once attempted to lock them in a box that was her very own property; but finding them too cumbersome she wrapped them in large sheets of brown paper, and stood them on the floor in a corner.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Jude the Obscure
  • …Bess and Turpin are hotly pursued at midnight by the officers, and the half-awake gatekeeper in his tasselled nightcap denies that any horseman has passed, Coggan uttered a broad-chested "Well done!" which could be heard all over the fair above the bleating, and Poorgrass smiled delightedly with a nice sense of dramatic contrast between our hero, who coolly leaps the gate, and halting justice in the form of his enemies, who must needs pull up cumbersomely and wait to be let through.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
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Associated words [difficulty]:   cumbersome [4]
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