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  1. something that obstructs, blocks, or closes up with an obstacle or obstacles; obstacle or hindrance: obstructions to navigation.
  2. an act or instance of obstructing.
  3. the state of being obstructed.
  4. the delaying or preventing of business before a deliberative body, especially a legislative group, by parliamentary contrivances.
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Origin of obstruction

1525–35; < Latin obstructiōn- (stem of obstructiō) barrier. See obstruct, -ion
Related formspre·ob·struc·tion, noun


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1. barrier, bar, impediment. See obstacle. 3. stoppage.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for obstruction


  1. a person or thing that obstructs
  2. the act or an instance of obstructing
  3. delay of business, esp in a legislature by means of procedural devices
  4. sport the act of unfairly impeding an opposing player
  5. the state or condition of being obstructed
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Derived Formsobstructional, adjectiveobstructionally, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for obstruction


1530s, from Latin obstructionem (nominative obstructio) "an obstruction, barrier, a building up," noun of action from past participle stem of obstruere "build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder," from ob "against" (see ob-) + struere "to pile, build" (see structure (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

obstruction in Medicine


(əb-strŭkshən, ŏb-)
  1. The blocking of a body passage, as by clogging or stricture.
  2. The state of being obstructed.
  3. Something, such as a mass or stricture, that obstructs.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.