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)

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In August of that year, the university hired a marketing executive from Michigan State University who state prosecutors said was part of an effort to stonewall an investigation into disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar. Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2022 Diem unceremoniously died in January as federal officials continued to stonewall approval of the cryptocurrency. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 10 Mar. 2022 Lavrov replied that his ministry would not allow the U.S. and its allies to stonewall Russia’s main requests. Yuras Karmanau,, 15 Feb. 2022 Lavrov replied that his ministry wouldn’t allow the U.S. and its allies to stonewall Russia’s main requests. Vladimir Isachenkov And Yuras Karmanau, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Feb. 2022 The former president has urged his allies and former aides to stonewall the panel. Amy B Wang, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Feb. 2022 The committee could also pursue cases such as lying under oath, intimidating a witness or contempt of Congress for witnesses who stonewall its subpoenas. New York Times, 3 Jan. 2022 While a growing list of individuals are cooperating, a small but key group of former President Donald Trump's allies continue to stonewall the panel. Ryan Nobles, CNN, 10 Dec. 2021 His fight is in line with Mr. Trump’s directive to stonewall the inquiry. New York Times, 15 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Visitors can see the remains of the original stone wall and towers as well as the gardens and places that inspired writer Dylan Thomas. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 11 May 2022 Flooded with morning light, Nikki's office shows off the texture of a stone wall and natural-fiber shades. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 May 2022 At age 11, Spork began scaling a high stone wall separating the fairways from the street during the evening hours, scooping up lost balls and selling them to people passing by. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2022 Early on Saturday afternoon, a soldier once stationed near the facility walked toward a stone wall at the back of the lot and peeled away a sheet of metal covering a large hole. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 An adjacent house foundation, sidewalk or stone wall could form part of the enclosure. New York Times, 2 Mar. 2022 Sun filtered through the spring-green leaves to reveal Graham Wynchester emerging below, between the house and a stone wall dividing the Wynchester property from their neighbors. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 17 Feb. 2022 Helping my friend James repair a stone wall on his sheep farm in the rain and cold, that’s my Disneyland. Michael Roberts, Outside Online, 13 Oct. 2021 A mid-19th century well remains on their land with an unusual stone wall surrounding it. Alia Malik, ajc, 10 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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stone wall

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Last Updated

16 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stonewall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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