What does obstacle mean?

Definitions for obstacle
ˈɒb stə kəlob·sta·cle

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word obstacle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. obstacle, obstructionnoun

    something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted

    "lack of imagination is an obstacle to one's advancement"; "the poverty of a district is an obstacle to good education"; "the filibuster was a major obstruction to the success of their plan"

  2. obstaclenoun

    an obstruction that stands in the way (and must be removed or surmounted or circumvented)


  1. obstaclenoun

    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.

  2. Etymology: From obstacle.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Obstaclenoun

    Something opposed; hindrance; obstruction.

    Etymology: obstacle, Fr. obstaculum, Lat.

    Conscience is a blushing shame-fac’d spirit,
    That mutinies in a man’s bosom: it fills
    One full of obstacles. William Shakespeare, Rich. III.

    If all obstacles were cut away,
    And that my path were even to the crown,
    As the ripe reverence and due of birth. William Shakespeare, R. III.

    Disparity in age seems a greater obstacle to an intimate friendship than inequality of fortune. For the humours, business, and diversions, of young and old, are generally very different. Jeremy Collier, on Friendship.

    Some conjectures about the formation of sand-stone, the origin of mountains and islands, I am obliged to look into that they may not remain as obstacles to the less skilful. John Woodward, Nat. Hist.

    What more natural and usual obstacle to those who take voyages, than winds and storms. Alexander Pope.


  1. Obstacle

    An obstacle (also called a barrier, impediment, or stumbling block) is an object, thing, action or situation that causes an obstruction. Different types of obstacles include physical, economic, biopsychosocial, cultural, political, technological and military.


  1. obstacle

    An obstacle is something that impedes, hinders, or interrupts progress or achievement. This can be a physical barrier, a circumstance, a condition, or even a mental block, that stands in the way of accomplishing a goal, task or objective.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Obstacle

    that which stands in the way, or opposes; anything that hinders progress; a hindrance; an obstruction, physical or moral

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Obstacle

    ob′sta-kl, n. anything that stands in the way of or hinders progress: obstruction.—Obstacle race, a race in which obstacles have to be surmounted or circumvented. [Fr.,—L. obstaculumob, in the way of, stāre, to stand.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. obstacle

    Any obstruction designed or employed to disrupt, fix, turn, or block the movement of an opposing force, and to impose additional losses in personnel, time, and equipment on the opposing force. Obstacles can exist naturally or can be man-made, or can be a combination of both.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'obstacle' in Nouns Frequency: #2414

How to pronounce obstacle?

How to say obstacle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of obstacle in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of obstacle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of obstacle in a Sentence

  1. Taylor Collins:

    For us, the biggest obstacle was creating a shelf stable product that didn’t have a bunch of preservatives in it, it took us about a year and a half to crack the code.

  2. Les Brown:

    The things you want are always possible; it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. The only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience.

  3. Cammile Adams:

    It's been crazy, i've learned about myself how to overcome obstacle and obviously yesterday was an obstacle that I never thought I would be able to overcome.

  4. Daniel J. Boorstin:

    The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge.

  5. Ken Hakuta:

    Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for obstacle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"obstacle." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/obstacle>.

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    call in an official matter, such as to attend court
    • A. famish
    • B. embellish
    • C. elaborate
    • D. summon

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