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 formsob·struct·ed·ly, adverbob·struct·er, ob·struc·tor, nounob·struct·ing·ly, adverbob·struc·tive, adjectiveob·struc·tive·ly, adverbob·struc·tive·ness, ob·struc·tiv·i·ty [ob-struhk-tiv-i-tee] /ˌɒb strʌkˈtɪv ɪ ti/, nounnon·ob·struc·tive, adjectivenon·ob·struc·tive·ly, adverbnon·ob·struc·tive·ness, nounpre·ob·struct, verb (used with object)un·ob·struct·ed, adjectiveun·ob·struc·tive, adjective

Synonyms for obstruct

Antonyms for obstruct

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obstructive

Contemporary Examples of obstructive

Historical Examples of obstructive

  • 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.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for obstructive


verb (tr)

to block (a road, passageway, etc) with an obstacle
to make (progress or activity) difficult
to impede or block a clear view of
Derived Formsobstructor, nounobstructive, adjective, nounobstructively, adverbobstructiveness, noun

Word Origin for obstruct

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

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

obstructive in Medicine


[əb-strŭkt, ŏb-]


To block or close a body passage so as to hinder or interrupt a flow.
Related formsob•structive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.