Definition of obstacle in US English:

obstacle

noun

  • A thing that blocks one's way or prevents or hinders progress.

    ‘the major obstacle to achieving that goal is money’
    • ‘He and his board have struggled valiantly to keep the club going, despite facing major obstacles.’
    • ‘It has been a silent process that has been quietly putting obstacles on the road to peace.’
    • ‘He said the religious site was just one of several obstacles blocking a peace deal.’
    • ‘To look ahead is to identify a worrying number of obstacles between Scotland and the World Cup finals.’
    • ‘Their biggest obstacle is the difficulty in finding enough local craftsmen to carry out the work.’
    • ‘The grass was really long and there were a few obstacles to clear as we went.’
    • ‘All you have to do is tell us how many obstacles the competitors will face in Saturday's Marathon event.’
    • ‘The riders have to clear 12 obstacles on the course within a specific time limit.’
    • ‘They are not likely to prevent a determined terrorist group finding ways around these obstacles.’
    • ‘One obstacle to the dissemination of apparatus for clear, critical thinking is the media.’
    • ‘Resistance is the process of avoiding change and is a major obstacle to progress.’
    • ‘The device will help to overcome one of the most difficult obstacles in military operations.’
    • ‘None of the fences will have guard rails and the obstacles have been approved by the Jockey Club.’
    • ‘The social and cultural obstacles to accelerated economic growth are immense.’
    • ‘He added that it was the current transport ministers who were obstacles to further progress.’
    • ‘But even if we adopt your vision, there are some serious obstacles to making it a reality.’
    • ‘We should sustain this process and not give up if there are some obstacles en route.’
    • ‘There are obstacles to clear, one is clearly transport, but that is achievable.’
    • ‘Developers see the bill as an obstacle, as a compliance cost, and as a source of delay.’
    • ‘He spoke on all the groundwork that goes into a project and the obstacles to overcome.’
    barrier, hurdle, stumbling block, bar, block, impediment, hindrance, snag, catch, drawback, hitch, handicap, deterrent, complication, difficulty, problem, disadvantage, baulk, curb, check, stop, interference
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin obstaculum, from obstare ‘impede’, from ob- ‘against’ + stare ‘stand’.

Pronunciation

obstacle

/ˈɑbstək(ə)l//ˈäbstək(ə)l/