obstacle

[ ob-stuh-kuhl ]
/ ˈɒb stə kəl /

noun

something that obstructs or hinders progress.

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“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Origin of obstacle

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Old French, from Latin obstāculum, equivalent to obstā(re) “to face, block, hinder” (ob-ob- + stārestand) + -culum-cle2

synonym study for obstacle

Obstacle, obstruction, hindrance, impediment refer to something that interferes with or prevents action or progress. An obstacle is something, material or nonmaterial, that stands in the way of literal or figurative progress: Lack of imagination is an obstacle to one's advancement. An obstruction is something that more or less completely blocks a passage: A blood clot is an obstruction to the circulation. A hindrance keeps back by interfering and delaying: Interruptions are a hindrance to one's work. An impediment interferes with proper functioning: an impediment in one's speech.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for obstacle

British Dictionary definitions for obstacle

obstacle
/ (ˈɒbstəkəl) /

noun

a person or thing that opposes or hinders something
British a fence or hedge used in showjumping

Word Origin for obstacle

C14: via Old French from Latin obstāculum, from obstāre, from ob- against + stāre to stand
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