sty·​mie | \ ˈstī-mē How to pronounce stymie (audio) \
stymied; stymieing

Definition of stymie

transitive verb

: to present an obstacle to : stand in the way of stymied by red tape

Did you know?

Golf was being played in Scotland as early as the 15th century, but it wasn't until the 19th century that the sport really caught on in England and North America. It was also in the 19th century that the word stymie entered English as a noun referring to a golfing situation in which one player's ball lies between another ball and the hole on the putting green, thereby blocking the line of play. Later, stymie came to be used as a verb meaning "to bring into the position of, or impede by, a stymie." By the early 20th century, the verb was being applied in similarly vexing non-golf contexts.

Examples of stymie in a Sentence

Progress on the project has been stymied by lack of money. the raging blizzard stymied the rescuers' attempts to find the stranded mountain climbers
Recent Examples on the Web Parts of Shanghai have been locked down for weeks in an effort to stymie the virus but, last week, officials imposed a citywide lockdown on the entire population as case numbers continue to climb. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2022 Russian forces continue to stymie humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. NBC News, 31 Mar. 2022 Rising rates could stymie that appreciation, though Zillow anticipates home values will continue to climb for the next few months, through the traditionally busy spring buying season, with year-over-year home price growth rate hitting 22% in May. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 25 Mar. 2022 In order to stymie bot farms, the Academy is requiring participating Twitter accounts to be more than 24 hours old and have at least 10 followers. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Feb. 2022 Analysts point to high turnover rates among blue-collar workers, which stymie efforts to marshal union support. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2022 The vaccine is now the third approved for use in the United States, adding another tool to help stymie the Covid-19 pandemic. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Mar. 2021 In 1996, a genetic variant was described that could stymie HIV — an observation that became a class of drugs. Eric Boodman, STAT, 18 Feb. 2022 The move would also strengthen its ability to fine companies and prevent takeovers that might stymie competition. Parmy Olson, WSJ, 23 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stymie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stymie

1902, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stymie

Scots stimie, stymie to obstruct a golf shot by interposition of the opponent's ball

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stymie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on stymie

Nglish: Translation of stymie for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stymie for Arabic Speakers


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