hin·​drance | \ ˈhin-drən(t)s How to pronounce hindrance (audio) \

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

By the 1960s, the limit became a hindrance to fiscal policy. Los Angeles Times, "Column: With the debt ceiling fight, Congress and Trump are playing with fire -- again," 16 July 2019 Librettist Weidman does a decent job of capturing the movie’s humor in his adaptation, but Shire and Maltby’s songs are usually more of a hindrance than a help. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Big’ in Berkeley shows not every movie should be a musical," 24 June 2019 In the past, Arranmore has lost many of its residents to urban areas, where poor internet connectivity is not a hindrance to their professional lives. Currie Engel, Time, "This Remote Irish Island Is Hoping To Lure New Residents," 14 June 2019 The key to life is apparently to be more like Rooster — the seasoned prairie dog voiced by Harrison Ford in the sequel — who teaches Max that fear is a part of life, not a hindrance. Aaron Pruner, Washington Post, "The writer of ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ was channeling his own fatherhood fears," 11 June 2019 This unreliable power supply is a major hindrance to Nigeria’s economic growth. Samuel Ayokunle Olowosejeje, Quartz Africa, "Nigeria’s unreliable electricity costs its economy $29 billion a year—solar power would save billions," 1 June 2019 Ubiquity can be a hindrance, but after riffing on Planet Hollywood T-shirts and concert T-shirts in previous collections, Kocher was unfazed. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Koché’s Pokémon Collaboration Is Tokyo Fashion Week’s Cutest Development," 21 Mar. 2019 As a practical matter, Humphrey’s Executor proved little hindrance to President Roosevelt, who had already replaced the dead commissioner. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "The Case That Shaped Brett Kavanaugh’s Thinking on Presidential Power," 31 Aug. 2018 Under Targaryen family traditions, the fact that Jon and Dany are related by blood wouldn't be a hindrance to their getting married. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Could Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen Marry on 'Game of Thrones'?," 15 Apr. 2019

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

6 Aug 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 How to pronounce hindrance (audio) \

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).


to make or get by devious means

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