obstacle


obstacle
obstacle, obstruction, impediment, bar, snag denote something which seriously hampers action or progress.
Obstacle, which is used of both material and immaterial things, applies to an object, condition, or situation which stands in one's way and must be removed or surmounted if one is to progress or attain one's ends
{

love seats especially constructed for ardent couples who find such devices as armrests an obstacle to affectionate hips and hands— Green Peyton

}
{

they smash themselves against the obstacles of circumstance— Cloete

}
{

as to other social advancement, his record was an obstacle—S. H. Adams

}
Obstruction may be used of immaterial things, but such use is often obviously figurative, for the word suggests a blocking of a way or passage
{

an intestinal obstruction

}
{

any phrase repeated too often becomes an obstruction to the flow of thought and feeling. It forms a clot— Crothers

}
{

a very much denser obstruction is in the process of being erected now by literary critics—Day Lewis

}
Impediment is applied to something material or immaterial which serves to hinder or delay action or progress until one is freed from it
{

the refugee's limited knowledge of English was for a long time an impediment to his progress in his profession

}
{

I have made my way through more impediments than twenty times your stop— Shak.

}
{

legal restriction is a less effective impediment than the general sentiment that respectable people do not discuss birth control— Petersen

}
Bar applies to something interposed, whether by nature or by man, which serves to prevent admission or escape as effectually as the bars of a cage or prison
{

long sentences are a bar to easy reading— Mott

}
Sometimes the word carries a strong suggestion of prohibition, especially when it applies to a law or condition that restrains
{

under the immigration laws, a criminal record, an infectious disease, and illiteracy are bars to admission to the United States

}
{

he found his infirmity no bar to his success in his profession

}
{

must I new bars to my own joy create?— Dryden

}
Snag, from its application to a stump of a tree with jagged points which lies hidden under water and proves a hazard to boats, is extended to an obstacle or impediment which is hidden from view and which one encounters suddenly and unexpectedly
{

might run into a snag on the question of whether federal aid should be extended—PP. H. Lawrence

}
Sometimes snag suggests a mere temporary impediment
{

after an early snag ... he was able to proceed with his work— The Irish Digest

}
Analogous words: barrier, *bar: hindering or hindrance, blocking or block (see corresponding verbs at HINDER)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • obstacle — [ ɔpstakl ] n. m. • 1220; lat. obstaculum, de obstare « se tenir (stare) devant » 1 ♦ Ce qui s oppose au passage, gêne le mouvement. Le vent « ne rencontre aucun obstacle naturel sur le plateau » (Camus). « la voiture fit un écart pour ne pas… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Obstacle 1 — «Obstacle 1» Сингл I …   Википедия

  • Obstacle 1 — Single by Interpol from the album Turn On the Bright Lights Released November 11, 2002 September 15, 2003 (Reissue) …   Wikipedia

  • Obstacle — to traffic caused by a collapse in highway 140, in Ferguson, state of California (USA), on 21 April 2008 02:36:01 PM PDT An obstacle (also called a barrier or a stumbling block) is an object, thing, action or situation that causes an obstruction …   Wikipedia

  • obstacle — OBSTACLE. s. m. Empeschement, opposition, ce qui empesche qu une chose ne soit, ne se fasse, ne reüssisse. Grand obstacle. obstacle invincible. vaincre un obstacle. surmonter un obstacle. former des obstacles. faire naistre un obstacle, des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • obstacle — [äb′stə kəl] n. [OFr < L obstaculum, obstacle < obstare, to withstand < ob (see OB ) + stare, to STAND] anything that gets in the way or hinders; impediment; obstruction; hindrance SYN. OBSTACLE is used of anything which literally or… …   English World dictionary

  • obstacle — (n.) mid 14c., from O.Fr. obstacle, ostacle hindrance (13c.), from L. obstaculum a hindrance, obstacle, with instrumental suffix * tlom + obstare stand opposite to, block, hinder, from ob against (see OB (Cf. ob )) + stare to stand, from PIE …   Etymology dictionary

  • Obstacle — Ob sta*cle, n. [F., fr. L. obstaculum, fr. obstare to withstand, oppose; ob (see {Ob }) + stare to stand. See {Stand}. and cf. {Oust}, v.] That which stands in the way, or opposes; anything that hinders progress; a hindrance; an obstruction,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • obstacle — I noun arrest, balk, barricade, barrier, block, bridle, catch, check, constraint, curb, dam, delay, detainment, difficulty, disallowance, drawback, embargo, enjoining, estoppel, fence, forbiddance, hamper, handicap, hindrance, hurdle, impediment …   Law dictionary

  • obstacle — [n] impediment, barrier bar, block, booby trap*, bump*, catch, Catch 22*, check, clog*, crimp*, difficulty, disincentive, encumbrance, hamper, handicap, hang up*, hardship, hindrance, hitch*, hurdle, interference, interruption, joker*, monkey… …   New thesaurus


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.