ob·​struc·​tion | \əb-ˈstrək-shən, 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

After being taken into police custody for obstruction, Sanchez-Villalba had to be fingerprinted to obtain his identity, police said. Phil Rockrohr, chicagotribune.com, "Lake Zurich police: Mailbox damaged after resident finds fireworks inside it," 6 July 2018 And one of the articles of impeachment prepared against Richard Nixon in 1974 was for obstruction. NBC News, "Report: Trump lawyers' letter to Mueller challenges subpoena," 2 June 2018 Stewart was convicted in 2004 for obstruction of justice and lying to investigators. Clare Foran, CNN, "Rod Blagojevich's wife appeals to President Trump to help her husband," 31 May 2018 Furthermore, the pipes would not be an obstruction to shipping, the researchers said. Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek, "Scientists Are Planning to Stop Hurricanes in Their Tracks by Blowing Air Bubbles into the Sea," 21 Mar. 2018 Windle was disqualified for obstruction immediately after the race. Ken Goe, OregonLive.com, "Genzebe Dibaba runs away with the world indoor title in the 1,500, Sifan Hassan third," 3 Mar. 2018 Take it from an expert: Conrad Black, the news magnate and House of Lords peer who spent time in U.S. prison for obstruction of justice and fraud. Suzi Ring, Bloomberg.com, "Britain’s White-Collar Cops Are Getting Too Good at Their Job," 1 Mar. 2018 Both Viner and Gaskill are currently awaiting trial on charges of wire fraud and obstruction of justice, while Viner will face an additional charge of conspiracy to make false or hoax reports to the police. Jon Porter, The Verge, "California man pleads guilty to fatal swatting and FCC bomb threat," 14 Nov. 2018 But while in office as the 42nd president, Clinton faced impeachment proceedings in 1998, after the Lewinsky scandal, for charges of perjury and obstruction. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "8 Men Whose Sexual Misconduct Allegations Prove It's Long Been a Big Part of U.S. Politics," 12 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for obstruction

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obstruction

The first known use of obstruction was in 1533

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More Definitions for obstruction



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 \

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- \

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

What made you want to look up obstruction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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