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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.

Origin of obstruction

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

Synonyms for obstruction

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

Antonyms for obstruction

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
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.)).

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