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

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to refuse to comply or cooperate with
stonewaller noun

stone wall

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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Officials were stonewalling, hiding behind claims that refugees might include communists and spies. Smithsonian Magazine, 15 May 2023 The GOP exploited Feinstein’s break from the Senate Judiciary Committee to stonewall President Biden’s judicial nominations. Erin B. Logan, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2023 The top inspector general for Afghanistan accused the Biden administration on Wednesday of stonewalling his efforts to procure records about assistance to the country since the U.S. military evacuation, warning that American taxpayer dollars were probably ending up in the hands of the Taliban. Karoun Demirjian, New York Times, 19 Apr. 2023 For example, conflict can cause one person to withdraw or stonewall the other. Sue Johnson, Scientific American, 1 July 2017 The Chinese, for their part, continued to stonewall. George Calhoun, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via AP Rubio offered his thoughts to reporters on Wednesday, saying the DOJ is still stonewalling access. Samantha-jo Roth, Washington Examiner, 1 Mar. 2023 However, Michel stepped up to stonewall Al-Shaair. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Feb. 2022 Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff took a shot at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Sunday – saying that if Democrats don’t win control of the upper chamber of Congress than McConnell will stonewall any legislation going through the Senate. Andrew O'reilly | Fox News, Fox News, 30 Nov. 2020
The library was no more than a filthy niche in an old stone wall, crusted with the dung of rodents and bats. Cynthia Ozick, Harper’s Magazine , 10 Apr. 2023 Beyond, there is a formal dining room and a dining nook that is framed by casement windows and a stone wall. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 8 Feb. 2023 Draped over the crumbling stone wall. Geoffrey Nutter, The New York Review of Books, 7 Sep. 2022 The lobby also features beamed wood ceilings and a stone wall. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 30 May 2021 What’s with the stone wall at the base? Mark Lamster, Dallas News, 1 July 2020 The West Wing built a stone wall in the press room. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 14 Jan. 2023 Israeli archaeologists have discovered a secret stash of Byzantine-era coins inside a stone wall—where someone may have once tried to hide them. Molly Enking, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Oct. 2022 There's a serpentine stone wall and a recessed spot for the grill. Kim Palmer, Star Tribune, 5 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stonewall.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1880, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


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

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


Dictionary Entries Near stonewall

stone wall



Cite this Entry

“Stonewall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

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