stymie

or sty·my, sti·my

[stahy-mee]
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noun
  1. Golf. (on a putting green) an instance of a ball's lying on a direct line between the cup and the ball of an opponent about to putt.
  2. a situation or problem presenting such difficulties as to discourage or defeat any attempt to deal with or resolve it.
verb (used with object), sty·mied, sty·mie·ing.
  1. to hinder, block, or thwart.

Origin of stymie

First recorded in 1855–60; origin uncertain

Synonyms for stymie

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for stymie

stymie

stymy

verb -mies, -mieing, -mied, -mies, -mying or -mied (tr; often passive)
  1. to hinder or thwart
  2. golf to impede with a stymie
noun plural -mies
  1. golf (formerly) a situation on the green in which an opponent's ball is blocking the line between the hole and the ball about to be played: an obstructing ball may now be lifted and replaced by a marker
  2. a situation of obstruction

Word Origin for stymie

C19: of uncertain origin
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 stymie

1834, (n.), "condition in which an opponent's golf ball blocks the hole," perhaps from Scottish stymie "person who sees poorly," from stime "the least bit" (c.1300), of uncertain origin (Icelandic cognate skima is attested from c.1685). The verb, in golf, is from 1857; general sense of "block, hinder, thwart" is from 1902.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper