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hin·​der ˈhin-dər How to pronounce hinder (audio)
hindered; hindering ˈhin-d(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce hinder (audio)

transitive verb

: to make slow or difficult the progress of : hamper
Their journey was hindered by snow and high winds.
economic growth hindered by sanctions
: to hold back : prevent, check
His financial troubles hindered him from buying a home.

intransitive verb

: to delay, impede, or prevent action
uncertain whether the changes would help or hinder
hinderer noun


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hind·​er ˈhīn-dər How to pronounce hinder (audio)
: situated behind or in the rear : posterior
a long oval forward part and a taillike hinder portionR. E. Coker
Choose the Right Synonym for hinder

hinder, impede, obstruct, block mean to interfere with the activity or progress of.

hinder stresses causing harmful or annoying delay or interference with progress.

rain hindered the climb

impede implies making forward progress difficult by clogging, hampering, or fettering.

tight clothing that impedes movement

obstruct implies interfering with something in motion or in progress by the sometimes intentional placing of obstacles in the way.

the view was obstructed by billboards

block implies complete obstruction to passage or progress.

a landslide blocked the road

Examples of hinder in a Sentence

Verb The witness refused to cooperate, hindering the investigation. The country's economic growth is being hindered by the sanctions. It's not clear whether the change will help or hinder our project. Adjective the animal's case of mange was especially bad in its hinder parts
Recent Examples on the Web
While advancements may eventually solve issues related to battery performance in extreme climates, these problems currently hinder adoption in certain regions. Dan Irvine, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 Ukraine is back on the defensive against Russia in the nearly 2-year-old war, hindered by low ammunition supplies and a shortage of personnel. Geir Moulson, Kerstin Sopke, Illia Novikov and Barry Hatton The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 18 Feb. 2024 However, a small study of 60 women, recently published in the journal Toxins, concluded that a lot of physical activity does seem to hinder its durability. Jenny McCoy, SELF, 15 Feb. 2024 Environmental groups say the agreement could hinder that energy transition. Jim Tankersley, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2024 An encryption issue hindered communications between law enforcement officers during the initial response, forcing a deputy to rely on a cellphone, the review board noted. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Feb. 2024 This background puts me in a unique position to understand the needs of business and families and how government can help or hinder them. Harrison Mantas, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 If differences hinder progress or cause conflict, open communication is vital. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 14 Feb. 2024 Such adverse childhood experiences, known as ACEs, have been shown to hinder healthy brain development in children and contribute to multiple health problems throughout the lifespan. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hinder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English hindren, from Old English hindrian; akin to Old English hinder behind


Middle English, from Old English hinder, adverb — see hinder entry 1

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hinder was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near hinder

Cite this Entry

“Hinder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hinder. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


hindered; hindering
: to make slow or difficult : hamper
progress was hindered by bad weather
: to hold back : check

More from Merriam-Webster on hinder

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