Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

obstacle

play
noun ob·sta·cle \ˈäb-sti-kəl, -ˌsti-\

Simple Definition of obstacle

  • : something that makes it difficult to do something

  • : an object that you have to go around or over : something that blocks your path

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of obstacle

  1. :  something that impedes progress or achievement

Examples of obstacle in a sentence

  1. He overcame the obstacles of poverty and neglect.

  2. They must overcome a number of obstacles before the restaurant can be opened.

  3. Lack of experience is a major obstacle for her opponent.

  4. She swerved to avoid an obstacle in the road.



Origin of obstacle

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin obstaculum, from obstare to stand in front of, from ob- in the way + stare to stand — more at ob-, stand


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with obstacle



OBSTACLE Defined for Kids

obstacle

play
noun ob·sta·cle \ˈäb-stə-kəl\

Definition of obstacle for Students

  1. :  something that stands in the way or opposes :  hindrance





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up obstacle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to defraud especially of money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin oily angry prompt
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ