ob·​struct | \ əb-ˈstrəkt How to pronounce obstruct (audio) , äb- \
obstructed; obstructing; obstructs

Definition of obstruct

transitive verb

1 : to block or close up by an obstacle A piece of food obstructed his airway. The road was obstructed by a fallen tree.
2 : to hinder from passage, action, or operation : impede Constant interruptions obstruct our progress. was charged with obstructing justice by lying to investigators
3 : to cut off from sight A wall obstructs the view.

Other Words from obstruct

obstructive \ əb-​ˈstrək-​tiv How to pronounce obstruct (audio) , äb-​ \ adjective or noun
obstructiveness noun
obstructor \ əb-​ˈstrək-​tər How to pronounce obstruct (audio) , äb-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for obstruct

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 obstruct in a Sentence

A large tree obstructed the road. A piece of food obstructed his airway and caused him to stop breathing. She was charged with obstructing police. She was charged with obstructing justice by lying to investigators.
Recent Examples on the Web Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer have identified three activities that obstruct self-compassion: self-criticism, self-isolation and self-absorption. Gregory Stebbins, Forbes, 16 May 2022 The Biden administration has already cut aid from institutions that obstruct its efforts to strengthen independent judiciaries. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Mar. 2022 Fracker pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, the joint session of Congress to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Michael Kunzelman, ajc, 5 Apr. 2022 Fracker pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding. Arkansas Online, 19 Mar. 2022 Fracker pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, the joint session of Congress that convened on January 6, 2021, to certify President Joe Biden's electoral victory. CBS News, 18 Mar. 2022 Matthew Greene, a former member of the Proud Boys from Syracuse, New York, pleaded guilty Wednesday to obstructing Congress and conspiring to obstruct law enforcement during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Harold Maass, The Week, 23 Dec. 2021 Tarrio pleaded not guilty earlier this week to charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and six other felonies. Tom Jackman And Spencer S. Hsu, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Apr. 2022 According to the indictment, in December 2020, Tarrio and Proud Boys members conspired to obstruct and stop the counting of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6. Robert Legare, CBS News, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of obstruct

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for obstruct

Latin obstructus, past participle of obstruere, from ob- in the way + struere to build, heap up — more at ob-, strew

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Time Traveler for obstruct

Time Traveler

The first known use of obstruct was in 1590

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Obstruct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obstruct. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for obstruct


ob·​struct | \ əb-ˈstrəkt How to pronounce obstruct (audio) \
obstructed; obstructing

Kids Definition of obstruct

1 : to block or make passage through difficult A fallen tree is obstructing the road.
2 : to be or come in the way of : hinder She was uncooperative and obstructed the investigation.
3 : to make (something) difficult to see The new building obstructs their view of the ocean.


transitive verb
ob·​struct | \ əb-ˈstrəkt, äb- How to pronounce obstruct (audio) \

Medical Definition of obstruct

: to block or close up by an obstacle veins obstructed by clots

More from Merriam-Webster on obstruct

Nglish: Translation of obstruct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obstruct for Arabic Speakers


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