obstacle

noun
ob·​sta·​cle | \ˈäb-sti-kəl, -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

Church concedes that there are obstacles to de-extinction, not the least of which is public apprehension. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Meet the Scientists Bringing Extinct Species Back From the Dead," 9 Oct. 2018 But Judge Kavanaugh clearly did not feel constrained by precedent: what could be a greater obstacle than a cage? Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Yale Law Students and Alumni Denounce School's Support of Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 There are undoubtedly obstacles to women entering construction en masse. Amanda Abrams, Curbed, "Women are the solution to the construction industry’s labor shortage," 5 Nov. 2018 There are still obstacles that Instacart needs to overcome to build a truly mainstream service. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Instacart’s new $7 billion valuation is a bet on the future of grocery delivery — not a wager against Amazon," 16 Oct. 2018 Unfortunately, there were considerable obstacles in the way of getting help. Vanessa Willhoughby, Allure, "The Reality of Navigating the Mental Health System as a Black Woman," 13 Oct. 2018 Shifts toward quality slowly began to take shape after the fall of Communism in 1991, but there were crippling obstacles: Russia’s wine embargoes in 2006 and 2013. Alia Akkam, Vogue, "Why Moldova Is a Wine Destination Worth Knowing Now," 27 Sep. 2018 These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 There are obstacles that students on most any other campus in the world don’t have to face. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "An education in hope," 7 July 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

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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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