stonewall

play
verb stone·wall \ˈstōn-ˌwȯl\

Definition of stonewall

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 chiefly British :  to engage in obstructive parliamentary debate or delaying tactics

  3. 2 :  to be uncooperative, obstructive, or evasive

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to refuse to comply or cooperate with

stonewaller

noun

stonewall was our Word of the Day on 05/26/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of stonewall in a sentence

  1. They stonewalled until they could come up with a response.

  2. They were just stonewalling for time.

  3. They're trying to stonewall the media.

  4. We're trying to get the information, but we're being stonewalled.

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."

1880

First Known Use of stonewall

1880


STONEWALL Defined for English Language Learners

stonewall

play
verb stone·wall \ˈstōn-ˌwȯl\

Definition of stonewall for English Language Learners

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


Learn More about stonewall


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up stonewall? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

capable of being understood in two ways

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ