stone·​wall | \ ˈstōn-ˌwȯl How to pronounce stonewall (audio) \
stonewalled; stonewalling; stonewalls

Definition of stonewall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 chiefly British : to engage in obstructive parliamentary debate or delaying tactics
2 : to be uncooperative, obstructive, or evasive

transitive verb

: to refuse to comply or cooperate with

stone wall


Definition of stone wall (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a fence made of stones especially : one built of rough stones without mortar to enclose a field
2 : an immovable block or obstruction (as in public affairs)

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Other Words from stonewall


stonewaller noun

Did You Know?

The earliest English stonewalls were literal; they were walls made from stone. Because a stone wall can be difficult to surmount, English speakers began using stonewall figuratively for things or people who either were persistent and enduring or who presented an obstacle as formidable as a stone wall. (Those figurative senses earned American Confederate Civil War General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson his nickname.) Then, in the late 1800s, cricket players began using stonewall as a verb in reference to a batter's defensive blocking of balls. Around the same time, stonewall found its way into political slang as a synonym of filibuster. There is also a chiefly British sense of "to engage in obstructive parliamentary debate or delaying tactics."

Examples of stonewall in a Sentence

Verb They stonewalled until they could come up with a response. They were just stonewalling for time. They're trying to stonewall the media. We're trying to get the information, but we're being stonewalled.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The decision was a major loss for the Trump administration, which has sought to stonewall subpoenas issued by Congress since Democrats assumed control of the House in 2019. Hailey Fuchs, New York Times, "House Can Sue to Force Testimony From McGahn, Appeals Court Rules," 7 Aug. 2020 But that doesn’t mean if Bam wants his now that the Heat will stonewall. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Does win total matter for Heat in seeding games?," 1 Aug. 2020 McConnell’s plan to stonewall federal funding to state and local governments will be a disaster for Colorado. Ian Silverii, The Denver Post, "Silverii: Now would be a good time for Sen. Gardner to use his clout, show Colorado he cares," 1 May 2020 By stonewalling, the government fuels public anger that, in some cases, results in extremism. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "The Disillusion and Frustration of a New Generation is Fuelling Hong Kong’s Protests," 3 July 2019 The details are fueling objections by Democratic lawmakers that the administration stonewalled them for weeks about the phone call and took extraordinary measures to suppress it from becoming public. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How the White House and Justice learned about whistleblower," 27 Sep. 2019 Alexis Renteria School: Hillcrest High Position: Goalkeeper Class: 2020 College: Undecided Noteworthy: No one stonewalled opposing offenses like Renteria, who led the Dallas area with 13 shutouts for a team that was 20-0-1. Usa Today High School Sports, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY High School Sports Awards: Dallas boys soccer nominees," 23 Apr. 2020 The Washington Post reported the Chinese government is still stonewalling on basic questions about the coronavirus's origins, while blocking efforts to determine any potential breaches at the Wuhan labs. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "US officials sounded alarm about Wuhan lab years before coronavirus outbreak," 14 Apr. 2020 Democrats are incensed over Republican success in stonewalling their efforts to postpone the vote in Wisconsin on Tuesday. Los Angeles Times, "Biden’s path is achievable but not easy," 10 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Besides its large oven, a stack of three Miele ovens is built into one stone wall. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$3M White Lake glass house is a window on the world," 27 Dec. 2020 Around it, the grounds are relaxed and slightly farm-like — slate patio, gravel picnic spot, stone wall, overhead pergola. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "Location of lavish $2.2M Birmingham home is a big selling point," 19 Dec. 2020 The 2005 Nissan Murano struck the curb, went over a stone wall and into a stone bench before striking the bronze statue of the soldier kneeling beside another sculpture of a rifle and boots, the iconic symbol of a dead warrior. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Female combat soldier statue toppled by drunk driver, police say," 1 Dec. 2020 The board of the historic Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock is raising money to repair a stone wall around the premises after a car crashed into it earlier this week, destroying a 20-foot stretch. Lara Farrar, Arkansas Online, "Panel seeks to repair damaged wall at historic Little Rock cemetery," 28 Nov. 2020 The striking vehicle, occupied only by the driver, hit a stone wall and flipped, police said. Vandana Ravikumar, Dallas News, "Fort Worth couple, parents of 4, killed when hit by vehicle racing in street, according to reports," 7 Nov. 2020 In their work clothes, leaning against the stone wall taking the sun or smoking, eyes closed. Kirmen Uribe, The New Yorker, "Back from the Cannery," 16 Nov. 2020 In addition, there is a 175-foot Works Progress Administration (WPA) stone wall that runs along Eastland Road. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Middleburg Hts. residents set sights on historic preservation," 14 Nov. 2020 Tour guides in Florence, Italy, have long claimed that the small outline of a curly-haired man carved into the stone wall of the city’s town hall, known as the Palazzo Vecchio, was covertly chiseled by Michelangelo. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Was Michelangelo a Renaissance Banksy?," 13 Nov. 2020

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


1880, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for stonewall

Time Traveler

The first known use of stonewall was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Stonewall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for stonewall


How to pronounce stone wall (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stonewall

: to refuse or fail to answer questions, to do what has been requested, etc., especially in order to delay or prevent something

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