ob·struc·tion·ism | \ əb-ˈstrək-shə-ˌni-zəm , äb- \

Definition of obstructionism 

: deliberate interference with the progress or business especially of a legislative body

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Other words from obstructionism

obstructionist \əb-ˈstrək-sh(ə-)nist, äb- \ noun or adjective
obstructionistic \əb-ˌstrək-shə-ˈni-stik, äb- \ adjective

Examples of obstructionism in a Sentence

They accused the other political party of obstructionism.

Recent Examples on the Web

To do so would be a mistake, for Mr. Halevi is a fierce defender of Israel’s sovereignty as well as a clear-eyed observer of Palestinian obstructionism and disingenuousness. Daphne Merkin, WSJ, "‘Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor’ Review: Empathy With the Stranger," 7 June 2018 Boehner resigned before that vote could be taken — citing his frustration with obstructionism. Emily L. Mahoney, miamiherald, "What does the Congressional voting record of this GOP candidate for governor tell us?," 5 July 2018 But now, red-state Democrats waging tough re-election battles will have to spend all of August and September and October on the campaign trail answering hard questions about their complicity in Schumer's obstructionism. Jay Willis, GQ, "Why Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Is Even Worse Than You Think," 27 June 2018 His capacity to deliver real benefits to the people is hampered by the Democrats’ obstructionism, yet both income and employment have been increasing since his election. WSJ, "Examining China’s Challenge to Democracy," 4 May 2018 The state Democratic Party sent a fundraising email minutes after the vote that linked Connecticut Republicans to obstructionism in Washington. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "As Malloy Considers Options, Activists Promise To Make Rejection of Andrew McDonald A Campaign Issue," 29 Mar. 2018 This—along with his barrel bombs and political obstructionism—has prevented any progress in achieving the resolution’s goals. Dennis Ross, WSJ, "Trump Leads From Behind in Syria," 5 Dec. 2017 Joe Biden is not burdened by the weight of events and laid low by the constant battle against know-nothing obstructionism. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Finally, Something Wonderful Happened," 12 Jan. 2017 Our generation and those that follow will be paying the price of obstructionism like his, into the limitless future. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Good riddance to Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., the most noxious climate change denier in Congress," 3 Nov. 2017

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

1879, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for obstructionism

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for obstructionism

The first known use of obstructionism was in 1879

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English Language Learners Definition of obstructionism

: things that are done to stop or delay the progress of a legal or political process

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