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[uh b-struhkt] /əbˈstrʌkt/
verb (used with object)
to block or close up with an obstacle; make difficult to pass:
Debris obstructed the road.
to interrupt, hinder, or oppose the passage, progress, course, etc., of.
to block from sight; to be in the way of (a view, passage, etc.).
Origin of obstruct
First recorded in 1605-15, obstruct is from the Latin word obstructus (past participle of obstruere to build or pile up in the way, bar). See ob-, construct
Related forms
obstructedly, adverb
obstructer, obstructor, noun
obstructingly, adverb
obstructive, adjective
obstructively, adverb
obstructiveness, obstructivity
[ob-struhk-tiv-i-tee] /ˌɒb strʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nonobstructive, adjective
nonobstructively, adverb
nonobstructiveness, noun
preobstruct, verb (used with object)
unobstructed, adjective
unobstructive, adjective
1. stop, choke, clog, hinder, impede, prevent; check, slow, retard, arrest.
1. encourage, further. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for obstructive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If Andros was peremptory, the Puritan councillors were obstructive.

    The Fathers of New England Charles M. Andrews
  • Here, again, there was an obstructive bar placed across the road.

    Chelsea George Bryan
  • The masters had been selfish and obstructive, the men selfish, silly, and light-headed.

    Essays of Travel Robert Louis Stevenson
  • As usual Cologne was one of the most restive and obstructive of all the towns.

    The Hansa Towns

    Helen Zimmern
  • The objector had overrated the obstructive power of his honoured parent.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • A runner on the bank, to look out for obstructive craft, is useful in practice.

    Boating W. B. Woodgate
  • Each man or woman stood in the place of a choppy, obstructive wave.

    An Ambitious Woman Edgar Fawcett
  • There is no obstructive limit to the achievements of the army of labor.

    The Arena Various
  • It may stand for two distinct attitudes of mind, one of them obstructive and the other not.

    On Compromise John Morley
British Dictionary definitions for obstructive


verb (transitive)
to block (a road, passageway, etc) with an obstacle
to make (progress or activity) difficult
to impede or block a clear view of
Derived Forms
obstructor, noun
obstructive, adjective, noun
obstructively, adverb
obstructiveness, noun
Word Origin
C17: Latin obstructus built against, past participle of obstruere, from ob- against + struere to build
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for obstructive

1610s, from Latin obstruct-, past participle stem of obstruere (see obstruction) + -ive.



1610s, a back-formation from obstruction or else from Latin obstructus, past participle of obstruere "to block, to stop up" (see obstruction). Related: Obstructed; obstructing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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obstructive in Medicine

obstruct ob·struct (əb-strŭkt', ŏb-)
v. ob·struct·ed, ob·struct·ing, ob·structs
To block or close a body passage so as to hinder or interrupt a flow.

ob·struc'tive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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