verb (used without object)

to engage in stonewalling.
Cricket. (of a batsman) to play a defensive game, as by persistently blocking the ball instead of batting it for distance and runs.

verb (used with object)

Informal. to block, stall, or resist intentionally: lobbying efforts to stonewall passage of the legislation.
British. to obstruct (the passage of a legislative bill) in Parliament, especially by excessive or prolonged debate.


pertaining to or characteristic of stonewalling: a new round of stonewall tactics.

Origin of stonewall

v. and adj. use of noun phrase stone wall
Related formsstone·wall·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for stonewall

rebuff, resist, stall, filibuster

Examples from the Web for stonewall

Contemporary Examples of stonewall

Historical Examples of stonewall

  • That was Stonewall Jackson's way, and it seemed to be Grant's way, too.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • "Stonewall" Jackson was professor of military science in Virginia.

  • There were portions of three brigades,—Fulkerson's, Burk's, and the Stonewall.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Stonewall Jackson came to the door of his tent and stood, looking out.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • The Stonewall Brigade was encamped in the fields just without the town.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

British Dictionary definitions for stonewall



(intr) cricket (of a batsman) to play defensively
to obstruct or hinder (parliamentary business)
Derived Formsstonewaller, 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 stonewall

Old English stanwalle (n.); see stone (n.) + wall (n.). As nickname of Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson (1824-1863), bestowed 1861 on the occasion of the First Battle of Bull Run, supposedly by Gen. Bernard Bee, urging his brigade to rally around Jackson, who was "standing like a stone wall." Bee was killed in the battle; the account of the nickname appeared in Southern newspapers within four days of the battle.

On the face of it this account has no character of authenticity, and the words ascribed to Bee smack less of the battlefield than of the editorial sanctum. ... It seems inherently probable that something was said by somebody, during or immediately after the battle, that likened Jackson or his men or both to a stone wall. [R.M. Johnston, "Bull Run: Its Strategy and Tactics," Boston, 1913]

"to obstruct," 1914, from metaphoric use of stone wall for "act of obstruction" (1876). Related: Stonewalled; stonewalling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper