stumbling block

stum·​bling block | \ˈstəm-bliŋ- \

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

That has been a stumbling block for the Lakers in the past. Tania Ganguli,, "Lakers fell in love with Moe Wagner for more than his shooting," 23 June 2018 Lazio will also have to match the wingers £2.6m wages, however this is unlikely to prove too much of a stumbling block for the Italian giants., "Lazio Plotting Move for Leicester Winger as Replacement for West Ham-Bound Felipe Anderson," 19 June 2018 Both McGahn and Kavanaugh also sought to portray the judge's lengthy record — including more than 300 opinions, roughly a dozen of which were affirmed by the Supreme Court — as a benefit rather than a potential stumbling block. Ashley Parker And Robert Costa,, "Inside Trump's sometimes wavering decision on Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Francis — and before him Pope Benedict XVI — have tried to unite the two communities, and in recent months Vatican officials had expressed hope that a deal to resolve the key stumbling block to reconciliation was nearing completion. Washington Post, "Pope to China Catholics: Make gestures showing communion," 24 May 2018 However, the report notes Arfield's £20,000 a week wage as a potential stumbling block, which suggests that the Glaswegian club may not pursue a move for both midfielders due to financial reasons., "Rangers Eye Summer Swoop for Crystal Palace Midfielder With Contract Running Down," 23 Apr. 2018 The North has noted possible stumbling blocks for the talks, including upcoming military exercises involving the United States and South Korea. Brian Murphy,, "Assad considers trip to meet North Korean leader," 3 June 2018 The main stumbling block to detecting Verrocchio’s influence, Kanter says, was simply the structure of the workshop. Susan Dunne,, "Yale Art Gallery Unravels Leonardo Da Vinci Mysteries," 3 July 2018 What the Hell, Bernie Sanders? Ralph Freso Progressives are winning on Sanders' model, but the senator can be his own biggest stumbling block. Luke Darby, GQ, "What the Hell, Bernie Sanders?," 28 June 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

24 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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


English Language Learners Definition of stumbling block

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

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Comments on stumbling block

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


playful or foolish behavior

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