hin·​drance | \ ˈhin-drən(t)s How to pronounce hindrance (audio) \

Definition of hindrance

1 : the state of being interfered with, held back, or slowed down : the state of being hindered hindrance of speech
2 : a person or thing that interferes with or slows the progress of someone or something : impediment a hindrance to learning
3 : the act of interfering with or slowing the progress of someone or something : the action of hindering should be allowed to live where he chooses without hindrance

Examples of hindrance in a Sentence

Is my presence here a help or a hindrance? made a survey of all the hindrances to wheelchair access, such as curbs and stairs
Recent Examples on the Web Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen has done a terrific job, though his 8-28 record as Raiders head coach is a hindrance. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Dec. 2021 Even where the filibuster is not a hindrance, Senate operations are dysfunctional. New York Times, 18 Dec. 2021 That doesn’t mean Matrix 4 is even going to get a China playdate, but an R-rating certainly won’t be a hindrance. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 Government policy significantly contributes to adoption and can be a help or a hindrance. Jiang Li, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 The program was rolled out in early November, as a means to keep children in school who have been exposed to a close contact that has tested positive for COVID-19, but some stipulations in the fine print have become a hindrance to the effort. Steve Smith, courant.com, 16 Dec. 2021 Resourcefulness and strength, for her, are both a help and a hindrance. Kelly Mcclure, Vulture, 5 Dec. 2021 The rigidity of the presidency has also proved to be a wretched hindrance of late. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 3 Nov. 2021 When traveling, is being glued to a phone more hindrance than help—does this handy-dandy tool actually distract us from a fuller travel experience and prevent us from getting lost in a new place? Matt Ortile, Condé Nast Traveler, 13 Dec. 2021

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

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hindrance

see hinder entry 1

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The first known use of hindrance was in 1526

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hindrance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hindrance. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for hindrance



English Language Learners Definition of hindrance

: a person or thing that makes a situation difficult : a person or thing that hinders someone or something
: the act of making it difficult for someone to act or for something to be done : the act of hindering someone or something


hin·​drance | \ ˈhin-drəns How to pronounce hindrance (audio) \

Kids Definition of hindrance

: someone or something that makes a situation more difficult "… you shouldn't worry about the little fellow's feet … I don't personally think they're going to be a hindrance …"— Dick King-Smith, Pigs Might Fly

More from Merriam-Webster on hindrance

Nglish: Translation of hindrance for Spanish Speakers


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