[uh b-struhk-shuh-nist]


a person who deliberately delays or prevents progress.
a person who delays or obstructs the business before a legislative body by parliamentary contrivances or legalistic maneuvers.

Origin of obstructionist

First recorded in 1840–50; obstruction + -ist
Related formsob·struc·tion·ism, nounob·struc·tion·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obstructionism

Contemporary Examples of obstructionism

Historical Examples of obstructionism

  • Obstructionism or passive sabotage, which consists in carrying out orders literally, regardless of consequences.

    The Red Conspiracy

    Joseph J. Mereto

British Dictionary definitions for obstructionism



  1. a person who deliberately obstructs business, esp in a legislature
  2. (as modifier)obstructionist tactics
Derived Formsobstructionism, noun
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 obstructionism

1879, from obstruction + -ism.



1846, from obstruction + -ist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper