Definition of stonewall in English:


Pronunciation /stəʊnˈwɔːl//ˈstəʊnwɔːl/


[with object]
  • 1Delay or obstruct (a request, process, or person) by refusing to answer questions or by being evasive.

    ‘she has also stonewalled queries about her love life’
    • ‘For six days the company has stonewalled customers and the press with vague explanations or, worse, no explanation at all.’
    • ‘They just don't want to know and they don't care, they stonewall us.’
    • ‘The White House is going to pay a heavy political price for the months it spent denying and stonewalling the problem.’
    • ‘The letter asserted that the board had stonewalled the waiting-list members.’
    • ‘If you try to phone them, the line may go dead; if you get through you are stonewalled.’
    • ‘That hasn't stopped him from trying to market his album, even if commercial radio stations have been stonewalling him.’
    • ‘I was trying to explain to them that I needed the money but they were stonewalling me.’
    • ‘The hospital stonewalled Turner, the website had no news.’
    • ‘By acknowledging nothing, denying everything and stonewalling every investigation, we are all therefore complicit in a war crime of unprecedented gravity.’
    • ‘I don't have experience with the government stonewalling me at all.’
    • ‘The bankers refused to give an inch and just stonewalled us.’
    • ‘But when state prosecutors stonewalled the case, the Justice Department flatly refused to bring charges.’
    • ‘I can't tell for sure, but it seems like my dad is stonewalling my mom's lawyers by not responding to letters.’
    • ‘But even a good question can be stonewalled or sidestepped.’
    • ‘When she confronted Don, he stonewalled her and limited her access to the business records.’
    • ‘They seem to have made a decision to stonewall me in the hopes that I will simply go away.’
    • ‘This went on four times, with Wallace getting more desperate as he believed Bill was stonewalling him.’
    • ‘Each and every time I'd try to arrange a meeting, she'd stonewall me.’
    • ‘All questions were to be stonewalled, on the logical grounds that any comment would prejudice the judicial inquiry set to be announced by the Ministry of Defence.’
    • ‘This allows the airline to stonewall the workers' demands for improved living standards while amassing profits.’
    obstruct, impede, interfere with, hinder, hamper, block, interrupt, hold up, hold back, stand in the way of, frustrate, thwart, baulk, inhibit, hamstring, sabotage, encumber, restrain, slow, slow down, retard, delay, forestall, arrest, check, stop, halt, stay, derail, restrict, limit, curb, put a brake on, bridle, fetter, shackle
    use delaying tactics, play for time, temporize, gain time, hang back, hang fire, hold back, procrastinate, hedge, beat about the bush, drag one's feet, delay, filibuster
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Cricket no object Bat extremely defensively.
      • ‘MacGill, who has taken 39 wickets in six Tests against England, often found it more difficult bowling to players whose sole intention was to stonewall.’
      • ‘If they batted the overs West Indies would win so Vaughan had to go for the kill and Browne and Bradshaw stonewalled defiantly.’


  • An act of delaying or obstructing a person, request, or process.

    ‘I have repeatedly given him the opportunity to clear this matter up, but the estate has met with stonewall after stonewall’
    • ‘But when the journalist politely quizzed Barry about his pay - whether he felt it complied with the recent sentiment about corporate accountability, and whether he felt earned it - all we got was a stonewall.’
    • ‘Anyway, the investigators interviewed the guards and ran into the usual stonewall.’
    • ‘Here were two young reporters who brought down an administration by their doggedness, cutting through the stonewall.’
    • ‘‘No comment,’ says Smeaton, the only time in several days he resorts to a stonewall.’