obstruct

verb
ob·​struct | \ əb-ˈstrəkt How to pronounce obstruct (audio) , äb- \
obstructed; obstructing; obstructs

Definition of obstruct

transitive verb

1 : to block or close up by an obstacle A piece of food obstructed his airway. The road was obstructed by a fallen tree.
2 : to hinder from passage, action, or operation : impede Constant interruptions obstruct our progress. was charged with obstructing justice by lying to investigators
3 : to cut off from sight A wall obstructs the view.

Other Words from obstruct

obstructive \ əb-​ˈstrək-​tiv How to pronounce obstruct (audio) , äb-​ \ adjective or noun
obstructiveness noun
obstructor \ əb-​ˈstrək-​tər How to pronounce obstruct (audio) , äb-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for obstruct

hinder, impede, obstruct, block mean to interfere with the activity or progress of. hinder stresses causing harmful or annoying delay or interference with progress. rain hindered the climb impede implies making forward progress difficult by clogging, hampering, or fettering. tight clothing that impedes movement obstruct implies interfering with something in motion or in progress by the sometimes intentional placing of obstacles in the way. the view was obstructed by billboards block implies complete obstruction to passage or progress. a landslide blocked the road

Examples of obstruct in a Sentence

A large tree obstructed the road. A piece of food obstructed his airway and caused him to stop breathing. She was charged with obstructing police. She was charged with obstructing justice by lying to investigators.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Because the Senate gives equal representation to big and small states alike -- and retains practices like the filibuster -- small minorities can ruthlessly obstruct larger voting blocs. Julian Zelizer, CNN, 22 Oct. 2021 That is, of course, if the teacher’s unions didn’t obstruct the equalizing pressures of competition. Phillip W. Magness, WSJ, 18 Oct. 2021 That’s a little taller than some soundbars but still shouldn’t obstruct the view of most TVs. Maren Estrada, BGR, 30 Sep. 2021 He's also accused of conspiring to intimidate victims and conceal evidence to obstruct law enforcement, including the investigation in the 2000s that led to his trial in 2008 in Cook County on state child pornography charges. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2021 The question was if Clinton was trying to buy silence with jobs or obstruct justice or suborn perjury in that way. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 8 Nov. 2021 The letter suggests charging five agents and three high-level officials with preparing false evidence, offering false evidence, destroying and/or concealing evidence, tampering with witnesses, and engaging in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Nov. 2021 Mendes Mendoza, a Mexican citizen who worked as a manager and supervisor for the company, was charged with conspiracy to obstruct proceedings before agencies. orlandosentinel.com, 23 Sep. 2021 In July 2020, prosecutors charged Officers Braxton Shaw, Michael Coblentz and Nicolas Martinez with conspiracy to obstruct justice and multiple counts of filing a false police report and preparing false documentary evidence. Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of obstruct

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for obstruct

Latin obstructus, past participle of obstruere, from ob- in the way + struere to build, heap up — more at ob-, strew

Learn More About obstruct

Time Traveler for obstruct

Time Traveler

The first known use of obstruct was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near obstruct

obstropolous

obstruct

obstruction

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for obstruct

Last Updated

30 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obstruct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obstruct. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for obstruct

obstruct

verb

English Language Learners Definition of obstruct

: to block (something, such as a pipe or street) so that things cannot move through easily
: to slow or block the movement, progress, or action of (something or someone)
: to be in front of (something) : to make (something) difficult to see

obstruct

verb
ob·​struct | \ əb-ˈstrəkt How to pronounce obstruct (audio) \
obstructed; obstructing

Kids Definition of obstruct

1 : to block or make passage through difficult A fallen tree is obstructing the road.
2 : to be or come in the way of : hinder She was uncooperative and obstructed the investigation.
3 : to make (something) difficult to see The new building obstructs their view of the ocean.

obstruct

transitive verb
ob·​struct | \ əb-ˈstrəkt, äb- How to pronounce obstruct (audio) \

Medical Definition of obstruct

: to block or close up by an obstacle veins obstructed by clots

More from Merriam-Webster on obstruct

Nglish: Translation of obstruct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obstruct for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!