sty·mie | \ˈstī-mē \
stymied; stymieing

Definition of stymie 

transitive verb

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

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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

The right-hander, who started as an outfielder and converted to pitching in 2014, stymied the Marlins with efficient, veteran-like command, striking out four and not walking a batter while throwing 94 pitches. Craig Davis,, "Marlins fall to Giants in 16 innings; Pudge's son Dereck Rodriguez impresses in hometown start," 14 June 2018 Tilkey said his subsequent attempts to get other jobs were stymied when potential employers learned why he had been fired. Teri Figueroa,, "San Diego jury awards ex-Allstate staffer $18M+ in wrongful termination case," 4 May 2018 There have been conflicting reports, on the record and off, from jurors about why they were stymied. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Bill Cosby's retrial: What you need to know before opening statements," 8 Apr. 2018 In a city stretched across two states, on the Kansas-Missouri border, Kansas City was a telling example of what could happen when a community’s desire for peaceful demonstrations were stymied. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination Sparked Uprisings in Cities Across America," 4 Apr. 2018 That gave them the power to implement their policies in the states at a time when they were stymied in Washington. Washington Post, "Redistricting battles heighten the stakes for 2018 gubernatorial races," 24 Feb. 2018 In recent days, heavy rains in the surrounding mountains have stymied efforts to reduce the water level in the cave complex so that divers could make their way deeper into it. Ryn Jirenuwat,, "Thailand cave rescuers report progress in search for soccer team," 1 July 2018 The proposals under the second approach could stymie innovation. The Economist, "A new school in ChicagoHow regulators can prevent excessive concentration online," 28 June 2018 Iceland, a country with the population of a Buenos Aires barrio, found 11 players who could lock down the middle of the pitch and stymie Argentina. Brian Straus,, "Argentina Has Plenty of Blame to Go Around as Its World Cup Spirals Out of Control," 21 June 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for stymie

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for stymie

The first known use of stymie was in 1902

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English Language Learners Definition of stymie

: to stop (someone) from doing something or to stop (something) from happening

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