stone·wall | \ˈstōn-ˌwȯl \
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


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

Jen Devona and Ashley Rocco scored for the Fillies (19-3-2), and senior goalkeeper Sam Schmitz made 14 saves to stonewall the North Stars. Rich Mayor,, "Barrington girls soccer ready to contend again at 3A state tournament," 31 May 2018 Each motion was rejected by the committee on a party-line basis -- except for one: To hold former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for stonewalling the panel. Jeremy Herb And Manu Raju, CNN, "War between Trump and FBI puts Gowdy in delicate spot," 30 May 2018 Moscow accuses Britain of failing to provide any evidence and stonewalling Russian requests for information. Jill Lawless, USA TODAY, "Yulia Skripal says nerve agent recovery slow and painful," 23 May 2018 Moscow accuses Britain of failing to provide any evidence and stonewalling Russian requests for information. Fox News, "Yulia Skripal says nerve agent recovery slow and painful," 23 May 2018 Moscow accuses Britain of failing to provide any evidence and stonewalling Russian requests for information. Jill Lawless,, "Yulia Skripal, poisoned by nerve agent in U.K., says recovery is slow and painful," 23 May 2018 Moscow has vehemently denied the claim and criticized Britain for failing to provide any evidence and stonewalling Russian requests for information. Washington Post, "Poisoned ex-spy Sergei Skripal discharged from UK hospital," 18 May 2018 Barnes also publicly accused the governor's attorneys that day of stonewalling the committee by refusing to provide requested evidence. Jason Hancock And Lindsay Wise, kansascity, "Behind the scenes of Eric Greitens' decision to resign. 'No one saw it coming.'," 10 June 2018 Moscow accuses Britain of failing to provide any evidence for its claims and of stonewalling Russian requests for information. Washington Post, "Yulia Skripal says recovery from poisoning ‘slow, painful’," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hike participants viewed the stone walls, bridges, dam, former paper mills, mansions, and a summer cabin, and then hiked along forest trails to the summit of Lookout Mountain. Courant Community, "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 1 May 2018 Walls of glass and sliders further the indoor-outdoor connection, while stone walls, a long integrated sofa and massive hearth cozy up the room. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Gorgeous Frank Lloyd Wright home wants $3.4M in Minneapolis," 31 May 2018 His voice, as yearning and sensual as a national anthem could allow, reverberated gently off the stone walls, and Mendes grinned. Mikael Wood,, "Shawn Mendes started out copying his idols. Now they're coming to him," 25 May 2018 There are more than three miles of stone walls throughout the preserve. Peter Marteka,, "A Visit To Westbrook's Horse Hill Woods," 17 June 2018 The park is made from a patchwork of concrete that’s meant to reflect the aged stone wall. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Luxembourg skatepark design nods to 17th-century fortress nearby," 13 June 2018 At some point Armistead heard who was up there waiting at the stone wall. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "These Generals Were the Closest of Enemies," 24 May 2018 Remnants of this original structure are evident in the basement’s enormous fireplace and massive stone walls. Joan Walden,, "288 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury," 21 June 2018 Resounding off the chapel's stone walls and high ceiling were works by Strauss, Puccini, Mozart and Verdi. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Harmonica And Strings Make For Unforgettable Concert," 21 June 2018

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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Statistics for stonewall

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for stonewall

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

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More Definitions for stonewall



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 ( chiefly US )

More from Merriam-Webster on stonewall

See words that rhyme with stonewall Encyclopedia article about stonewall

Comments on stonewall

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one that holds something together

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