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

Two of those associates—Kelly’s former manager Derrel McDavid, and his personal assistant Milton (June) Brown—were also indicted in Illinois on federal charges, including obstruction of justice. Jim Derogatis, The New Yorker, "The New Indictments Against R. Kelly Are an Indictment of the Music Industry," 12 July 2019 Thomas is charged with possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence and obstruction government operations. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "2 jailed after I-20 chase, overnight manhunt in east Alabama," 11 July 2019 The nurses’ union for the region’s academic hospital has asked the federal government to review the June 11 dismissal of a veteran nurse and the discipline of another at the Corryville facility as an unlawful obstruction of union business. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Union goes to the feds over UC Health's firing, discipline of nurses," 1 July 2019 In severe cases, a gastrointestinal disorder can develop and obstructions can occur — especially if the pet eats a bone or corn on the cob. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, "PET TALK: Fourth of July pet safety: Fireworks, barbecues, mosquitoes, oh my!," 1 July 2019 Attorney General William Barr has said that the evidence in the report was not sufficient to establish that the president committed obstruction of justice. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rep. Scott Peters calls for U.S. House to start impeachment proceedings," 26 June 2019 Keep calling witnesses, keep railing about lawlessness and obstruction, but don’t do anything that calls for Congress to take formal action. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Why Pelosi Continues to Deflect the Censure Gambit," 22 June 2019 Shawn Overton, 41, of Milwaukee, has been charged with robbery with the use of force and obstruction of an officer. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Milwaukee man accused of stealing a woman's purse at Sendik's in Whitefish Bay was 'just trying to get high'," 19 June 2019 This would appear to satisfy some lawmakers who opposed legalizing scooters for reasons of safety and sidewalk obstruction. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "New York is poised to legalize electric scooters and bikes," 17 June 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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Statistics for obstruction

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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 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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characterized by aphorism

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