1. an obstruction placed across a road, especially of barricades or police cars, for halting or hindering traffic, as to facilitate the capture of a pursued car or inspection for safety violations.
  2. an obstruction on a road, as a fallen tree or a pile of fallen rocks.
  3. a hastily built barricade, as of barbed wire, erected across a road to hold up the advance of an enemy.
  4. an action, condition, etc., that obstructs progress toward an objective: Nationalism is a roadblock to European unity.
verb (used with object)
  1. to halt or obstruct with or as if with a roadblock.

Origin of roadblock

First recorded in 1935–40; road + block Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for road-blocking

Historical Examples of road-blocking

  • A car or truck had stopped beyond the road-blocking beam and waited for it to be cut off, as it had been.

    Operation Terror

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

British Dictionary definitions for road-blocking


  1. a barrier set up across a road by the police or military, in order to stop a fugitive, inspect traffic, etc
  2. a difficulty or obstacle to progress
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 road-blocking



1940, from road + block (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper