hin·​drance | \ ˈhin-drən(t)s \

Definition of hindrance

1 : the state of being interfered with, held back, or slowed down : the state of being hindered hindrance of speech
2 : a person or thing that interferes with or slows the progress of someone or something : impediment a hindrance to learning
3 : the act of interfering with or slowing the progress of someone or something : the action of hindering should be allowed to live where he chooses without hindrance

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Examples of hindrance in a Sentence

Is my presence here a help or a hindrance? made a survey of all the hindrances to wheelchair access, such as curbs and stairs

Recent Examples on the Web

One of the hindrances to widespread adoption of virtual reality tech has been the price tag. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "The 20 most-popular stories of 2018," 25 Dec. 2018 The Asian Cup, too, could prove a hindrance for Mauricio Pochettino's plans. SI.com, "Tottenham Could Lose Forward Heung-Min Son for Two Years to South Korean Army," 14 Mar. 2018 More could enter that discussion later, of course, and the wear and tear of Big East play would obviously appear to be more of a hindrance to those teams. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Is the Big East too tough for its own good?," 4 Jan. 2018 As Davis pointed out to the Post, Democrats’ requests in a hypothetical majority could also become a huge hindrance and time suck for the Trump administration. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "House Democrats just previewed how they’d investigate Cohen’s allegations if they win," 22 Aug. 2018 Couldn't the early exit of three of its wealthiest undergrads be taken as evidence that the country's savviest businessmen found a Harvard education to be a hindrance on the path to fortune? Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Harvard Doesn't Suck," 26 Sep. 2014 The advocates for human missions to Mars have sometimes viewed planetary protection as a hindrance. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, "NASA needs to upgrade its ‘planetary protection’ efforts, experts say," 2 July 2018 The biggest hindrance for many young artists coming up is their lack of knowledge regarding the importance of mental health. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Pusha T, Ella Mai, Jussie Smollett & More Give Aspiring Artists Advice on How to Maintain Their Mental Health," 20 June 2018 Against Wright State, more than anything, execution was the greatest hindrance to the Norse holding an unbeaten run in conference play. Charlie Hatch, Cincinnati.com, "NKU beats Cleveland State 70-55, jumps to 5-1 in Horizon League play," 15 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hindrance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hindrance

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hindrance

see hinder entry 1

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Statistics for hindrance

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hindrance

The first known use of hindrance was in 1526

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More Definitions for hindrance



English Language Learners Definition of hindrance

: a person or thing that makes a situation difficult : a person or thing that hinders someone or something

: the act of making it difficult for someone to act or for something to be done : the act of hindering someone or something


hin·​drance | \ ˈhin-drəns \

Kids Definition of hindrance

: someone or something that makes a situation more difficult “… you shouldn't worry about the little fellow's feet … I don't personally think they're going to be a hindrance …”— Dick King-Smith, Pigs Might Fly

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More from Merriam-Webster on hindrance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hindrance

Spanish Central: Translation of hindrance

Nglish: Translation of hindrance for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hindrance

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


a complex dispute or argument

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