stumbling block

noun
stum·​bling block | \ ˈstəm-bliŋ- How to pronounce stumbling block (audio) \

Definition of stumbling block

1 : an obstacle to progress
2 : an impediment to belief or understanding : perplexity

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Examples of stumbling block in a Sentence

Lack of funds is a major stumbling block to the project. My plans hit a stumbling block.

Recent Examples on the Web

As of last week, the two sides had seemingly reached an impasse on the issue of Kavanaugh’s records — something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had once flagged to President Donald Trump as a potential stumbling block for his nomination. Li Zhou, Vox, "National Archives says it can’t get full Kavanaugh records until October," 2 Aug. 2018 Questions have been raised repeatedly over Edwards' attitude and commitment, with many speculating that this has been the main stumbling block in his ascension at Spurs. SI.com, "Tottenham Starlet Set for Crunch Talks With Mauricio Pochettino Amid Rumours of Summer Departure," 5 July 2018 His comments came following a House Ways and Means Committee meeting where Mr. Lighthizer said that the U.S. and China have reached a tentative agreement on a mechanism to enforce the trade deal, which has long been a stumbling block in talks. ... Bob Davis And William Mauldin, WSJ, "U.S. Drops Threat of 25% Tariffs on Chinese Goods in Sign That Accord Is Near," 27 Feb. 2019 There is, however, the potential of a stumbling block in terms of the fee for Lukaku. SI.com, "West Ham's Talks for Felipe Anderson Could See Lazio Teammate Added to Deal," 24 June 2018 So if high-speed situations create the biggest stumbling blocks for self-driving cars, an obvious strategy is to start out with applications that don't require high-speed driving. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo’s ambitious plans for high-speed taxis could be holding it back," 3 Dec. 2018 Newsletter Sign-up British officials here privately said that a compromise Brexit position was being worked on related to the biggest stumbling block in the talks: What happens to the U.K.’s border with Ireland after Brexit. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Theresa May Beats Back Her Critics Over Brexit," 3 Oct. 2018 The issue of bishop nominations had been the main stumbling block to restoring diplomatic relations that were severed nearly seven decades ago when the Chinese communists came to power. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Pope acknowledges China bishop deal will cause suffering," 25 Sep. 2018 The main stumbling block in negotiations is that the federal government is using a template that has less generous terms than the Open Skies deal with the EU, according to people familiar with the matter. Christopher Jasper, Bloomberg.com, "Virgin Atlantic Says Brexit No Threat to U.S.-U.K. ‘Open Skies’," 8 Mar. 2018

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

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for stumbling block

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for stumbling block

The first known use of stumbling block was in 1588

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More Definitions for stumbling block

stumbling block

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stumbling block

: something that stops you from doing what you want to do

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More from Merriam-Webster on stumbling block

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stumbling block

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stumbling block

Spanish Central: Translation of stumbling block

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