obstacle

noun
ob·​sta·​cle | \ ˈäb-sti-kəl How to pronounce obstacle (audio) , -ˌsti-\

Definition of obstacle

: something that impedes progress or achievement Mosquitoes were a great obstacle to the building of the Panama Canal. … elders … often facing daily medical, social, and psychological obstacles.— Vicki Bloom and B. B. Green-Field

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Examples of obstacle in a Sentence

He overcame the obstacles of poverty and neglect. They must overcome a number of obstacles before the restaurant can be opened. Lack of experience is a major obstacle for her opponent. She swerved to avoid an obstacle in the road.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Aston Martin Lagonda faces obstacles worthy of a Bond film on its growth path. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Aston Martin’s Risky Road to Riches," 28 Feb. 2019 But pure physics dictates that putting an obstacle in the way of any pathogens is preferable to just spewing them into the air without any barriers. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Here’s How Far Germs Spread Through Sneezing and Coughing," 13 Feb. 2019 Many Costa Ricans cite the higher price of electric vehicles as the main obstacle. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Costa Rica has an ambitious new climate policy — but no, it’s not banning fossil fuels," 17 July 2018 Together, these two factors put up quite an obstacle. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 Many black workers are dealing with the lingering effects of losing their homes to foreclosure during the financial crisis, an obstacle that affected African-American and Latino borrowers more than white borrowers, Bailey says. Jonnelle Marte, chicagotribune.com, "Black homeownership is stuck near 30-year lows," 6 July 2018 An obstacle that has kept dozens of students each year from finishing bachelor's degrees in nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will be removed this fall through a new partnership with Milwaukee Area Technical College. Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lack of seats in nursing degree program at UWM no longer an obstacle for students with new MATC partnership," 3 July 2018 But Moore ran into an obstacle that many plaintiffs experience in data breach cases. Jack Greiner, Cincinnati.com, "Data breach case: No harm, no foul," 28 June 2018 That murky morality has proven an obstacle for some viewers, who are never quite sure who to root for in Westworld. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Westworld Season 3—Everything We Know So Far," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obstacle.' 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 obstacle

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for obstacle

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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Time Traveler for obstacle

The first known use of obstacle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for obstacle

obstacle

noun

English Language Learners 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

obstacle

noun
ob·​sta·​cle | \ ˈäb-stə-kəl How to pronounce obstacle (audio) \

Kids Definition of obstacle

: something that stands in the way or opposes : hindrance

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More from Merriam-Webster on obstacle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obstacle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obstacle

Spanish Central: Translation of obstacle

Nglish: Translation of obstacle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obstacle for Arabic Speakers

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