• synonyms


or sty·my, sti·my

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  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.
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verb (used with object), sty·mied, sty·mie·ing.
  1. to hinder, block, or thwart.
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Origin of stymie

First recorded in 1855–60; origin uncertain

Synonyms for stymie

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noun, plural sty·mies, verb (used with object), sty·mied, sty·my·ing.
  1. stymie.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for stymied

obstruct, thwart, stonewall, foil, stall, impede, crimp, mystify, prevent, cramp, stump, nonplus, defeat, pigeonhole, confound, corner, crab, shelve, balk, puzzle

Examples from the Web for stymied

Contemporary Examples of stymied

Historical Examples of stymied

  • I had to admit I was stymied, and I got so I didn't give a whoop.

    Nine Men in Time

    Noel Miller Loomis

  • Exman sends us ample warning of a disaster and we're stymied!

  • Stan began to think they were stymied when all Hades broke loose from above.

    A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F.

    Rutherford G. Montgomery

  • I stymied myself from the hut by a bush and looked over my shoulder for the best line of retreat.

  • Bonaparte played eight, missed a putt for a nine, stymied himself in a ten, holed out in twelve and I went down in five.

    Mr. Munchausen 

    John Kendrick Bangs

British Dictionary definitions for stymied



verb -mies, -mieing, -mied, -mies, -mying or -mied (tr; often passive)
  1. to hinder or thwart
  2. golf to impede with a stymie
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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
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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 stymied


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper