[ ob-stuh-kuhl ]
/ ˈɒb stə kəl /


something that obstructs or hinders progress.

Origin of obstacle

1300–50; Middle English < Old French < Latin obstāculum, equivalent to obstā(re) to face, block, hinder ( ob- ob- + stāre to stand) + -culum -cle2


Obstacle, obstruction, hindrance, impediment refer to something that interferes with or prevents action or progress. An obstacle is something, material or nonmaterial, that stands in the way of literal or figurative progress: Lack of imagination is an obstacle to one's advancement. An obstruction is something that more or less completely blocks a passage: A blood clot is an obstruction to the circulation. A hindrance keeps back by interfering and delaying: Interruptions are a hindrance to one's work. An impediment interferes with proper functioning: an impediment in one's speech.

Example sentences from the Web for obstacle

British Dictionary definitions for obstacle

/ (ˈɒbstəkəl) /


a person or thing that opposes or hinders something
British a fence or hedge used in showjumping

Word Origin for obstacle

C14: via Old French from Latin obstāculum, from obstāre, from ob- against + stāre to stand