Obstacle definition

ŏbstə-kəl
Frequency:
Something that stands in the way of or holds up progress.

The road crew removed the obstacle of the fallen tree limb. We had to overcome many obstacles to put on this show.

noun
52
17
Anything that gets in the way or hinders; impediment; obstruction; hindrance.
noun
22
12
Something that impedes, stands in the way of, or holds up progress.

A big obstacle to understanding the manual was that it had been poorly translated from the Japanese.

noun
4
3
The definition of an obstacle is something that gets in the way or that slows or stops progress.

An example of an obstacle is not having the tuition money to go to college.

An example of an obstacle is when a road block is set up in your way that prevents you from passing by.

noun
4
4
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
obstacle
Plural:
obstacles

Origin of obstacle

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin obstāculum from obstāre to hinder ob- against ob– stāre to stand stā- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French obstacle.

    From Wiktionary