obstruct

verb
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.

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Other Words from obstruct

obstructive \ əb-​ˈstrək-​tiv How to pronounce obstructive (audio) , äb-​ \ adjective or noun
obstructiveness noun
obstructor \ əb-​ˈstrək-​tər How to pronounce obstructor (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

There are now mounting questions over whether Nunes and his aides participated in a conspiracy to obstruct justice with the document. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "Devin Nunes Has a Foolproof Plan to Fight Fake News," 12 Feb. 2018 Barcelona fans have been left in hysterics on Twitter after Francis Coquelin tried to obstruct Lionel Messi in Barca’s 2-0 win over Valencia on Thursday night. SI.com, "Barca Fans React as Francis Coquelin 'Strips' Lionel Messi in Copa del Rey Clash," 9 Feb. 2018 Face masks can block many large droplets, while N95 respirators are designed to obstruct the passage of those very small airborne particles that can lead to illness, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Here’s How Far Germs Spread Through Sneezing and Coughing," 13 Feb. 2019 Just out of sight is the State Capitol dome, a landmark that the new projects could obstruct from some vantages. Scott Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Once flat and wide on the frontier, Western cityscapes are now rising tall and sleek," 4 Feb. 2019 Then, when the ball finally dropped, viewers weren’t able to clearly see the structure, as the smoke from the fireworks obstructed its view. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Why Everyone Thinks Carson Daly's New Year's Eve Special Was a 'Complete Disaster'," 2 Jan. 2019 Most of all, congressional Republicans have taken to actively abetting Trump’s various efforts to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry and politicize the FBI and the Department of Justice. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There never were any “adults in the room”," 21 Dec. 2018 In a related action, Brittini L. Sobanski, 26, 9200 block of Fairway Drive, Orland Park, was charged with obstructing a peace officer after interfering with Rupar's arrest, police said. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland police blotter," 10 July 2018 David DeHaas, a Republican running against incumbent Sen. Maryanne Jordan in Boise's District 17, was charged with misdemeanor obstructing or resisting arrest. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "Police: Idaho Senate candidate confronted officers with knife before his arrest," 10 July 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for obstruct

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obstruct

The first known use of obstruct was in 1590

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More Definitions for obstruct

obstruct

verb

English Language Learners Definition of obstruct

somewhat formal
: to block (something, such as a pipe or street) so that things cannot move through easily
: to slow or block the movement, progress, or action of (something or someone)
: to be in front of (something) : to make (something) difficult to see

obstruct

verb
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.

obstruct

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on obstruct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obstruct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obstruct

Spanish Central: Translation of obstruct

Nglish: Translation of obstruct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obstruct for Arabic Speakers

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