ob·​struc·​tion | \ əb-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce obstruction (audio) , äb- \

Definition of obstruction

1a : the state of being obstructed especially : a condition of being clogged or blocked an intestinal obstruction She died from an obstruction of the airway.
b : an act of obstructing Passage of the law was delayed by the congressman's obstruction.
2 : something that obstructs removing obstructions that block the path a view without obstruction

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Examples of obstruction in a Sentence

They are removing trees and other obstructions from the path. cases of intestinal obstruction in children She died from an obstruction of the airway. He is on trial for the obstruction of a criminal investigation.
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Recent Examples on the Web The House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power, making Trump only the third president to be impeached. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "‘Provocations from the administration’: Pelosi blames Trump for Iranian ballistic missile attacks," 7 Jan. 2020 The second charge, obstruction of Congress, stems from Trump's stonewalling of House Democrats' investigation. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Poll: majority approve of Trump's impeachment and removal from office," 22 Dec. 2019 Despite these stirring arguments, the two articles of impeachment, condemning the president for abuse of power and obstruction of congress, passed Wednesday night, and Donald J. Trump became the third president in American history to be impeached. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Speaker Pelosi Is “Never Afraid and Rarely Surprised”," 22 Dec. 2019 On the second article, obstruction, those two and freshman Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, voted in opposition. Robert Costa, Anchorage Daily News, "Anti-impeachment Democratic congressman switches to GOP after personal plea from Trump," 19 Dec. 2019 On Wednesday, the House approved the first article of impeachment, abuse of office, by a 230-197 vote, and the second, obstruction of Congress, 229-198. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Trump's day: Impeachment in D.C.; 'four more years' in Battle Creek," 19 Dec. 2019 On the second article, obstruction, those two and freshman Representative Jared Golden of Maine voted against. Washington Post, "President Trump impeached on charges of abusing power, blocking Congress’s investigation," 19 Dec. 2019 On the second charge, obstruction of Congress, another Democrat joined Republicans in opposition. Nicholas Fandos, BostonGlobe.com, "President Trump impeached by US House on 2 charges," 18 Dec. 2019 The second article, obstruction of Congress, charges that Mr. Trump sought to cover up his own wrongdoing. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "House Panel Debates Impeachment Articles in Bid to Complete Charges Against Trump," 12 Dec. 2019

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

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for obstruction

Time Traveler

The first known use of obstruction was in 1533

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Statistics for obstruction

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obstruction.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obstruction. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for obstruction


How to pronounce obstruction (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of obstruction

: something that blocks something else and makes it difficult for things to move through
: the condition of being blocked so that things cannot move through easily
: the act of making it difficult for something to happen or move forward


ob·​struc·​tion | \ əb-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce obstruction (audio) \

Kids Definition of obstruction

1 : an act of blocking or hindering : the state of having something that blocks or hinders
2 : something that gets in the way : obstacle


ob·​struc·​tion | \ əb-ˈstrək-shən, äb- How to pronounce obstruction (audio) \

Medical Definition of obstruction

1a : an act of obstructing
b : a condition of being clogged or blocked intestinal obstruction
2 : something that obstructs dislodge an airway obstruction

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Comments on obstruction

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dull or mediocre

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