Meaning of obstruct in English:


Pronunciation /əbˈstrʌkt/

See synonyms for obstruct

Translate obstruct into Spanish


[with object]
  • 1Block (an opening, path, road, etc.); be or get in the way of.

    ‘she was obstructing the entrance’
    • ‘One youth lay on the road in front of the vehicle obstructing its path, while the remainder of the group attacked the vehicle, banging on its sides, windows and doors.’
    • ‘The roads are all so long, and pockets of tall buildings intersperse themselves with markets and shady alleys, and your planned route may easily be interrupted by a large flyover or highway suddenly obstructing your path.’
    • ‘As for the problem of motorbikes for hire and rental vehicles obstructing the roads and walkways, the mayor said the city plans to designate parking areas, which he said should alleviate that particular problem.’
    • ‘The significant cause of the congestion is vehicles being illegally parked on the double yellow lines and obstructing the narrow roads for other traffic.’
    • ‘They also complained that the company did not follow the county's priorities for power restoration and did not help road maintenance workers clear roads obstructed by fallen trees wrapped by power lines.’
    • ‘The three told the court that they had not at any time obstructed the road and gave an undertaking not to do so.’
    • ‘He wasn't learning very quickly - he was supposed to obstruct the path of the trainer before she gets too close to the edge, but he really wasn't getting the idea.’
    • ‘The number of demonstrators was sharply reduced and they did not obstruct the roads.’
    • ‘But sometimes it obstructs the opening between the appendix and intestine and lead to inflammation of the appendix (appendicitis).’
    • ‘However, it was just enough of a touch to obstruct the path of the ball.’
    • ‘Kidney stones are another source of blockage that may obstruct the path of urine.’
    • ‘The vehicle was obstructing the whole road which caused Whalley Old Road to be blocked.’
    • ‘I am on my way to a superb running catch when my path is obstructed by a goat.’
    • ‘As far as possible, radio relay stations ought to be placed at a distance from the mountaintop that obstructs the path but in a manner that it be seen from either station.’
    • ‘In public areas and roadside locations, signs must not be placed on or obstruct footpaths, traffic islands, roads or walkover bridges.’
    • ‘He got out of his seat and stepped back, not wanting to obstruct her path.’
    • ‘On a serious note, I do hope the council will include motorists who obstruct cycle lanes and green boxes.’
    • ‘Officers also requested business operators who place their signboards in the public areas to ensure that the signs do not become an eyesore or obstruct pedestrian walkways.’
    • ‘An aged, wooden blockade obstructed the pebbled road, so they had to park Raven's Ferrari in front of it and continue the travel on foot.’
    • ‘The amount of scar tissue formed, however, and the degree to which it obstructs the hole is something that needs to be investigated.’
    block, block up, clog, clog up, get in the way of, stand in the way of, cut off, shut off, jam, bung up, gum up, choke, barricade, bar, dam up
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    1. 1.1Prevent or hinder (movement or someone or something in motion)
      ‘they had to alter the course of the stream and obstruct the natural flow of the water’
      • ‘A fine of 150 leva will be imposed on those who violate the rules for crossing a train crossing or obstructing the movement of trams or other rail vehicles, which, by law always have the right of way.’
      • ‘If protest demonstrations and rallies can be confined to select areas and organised peacefully without obstructing the free movement of others, nobody can complain.’
      • ‘Also, he would notice if passages for blind people were obstructed, or if the location of advertisement hoardings were correct - recording it all with his cameras.’
      • ‘They damaged the buses, obstructed their movement and even held a demonstration in front of the Diwan's residence.’
      • ‘Then as it happened, the bar too got jammed, serving to obstruct her movements further, making it virtually impossible to lift her out.’
      • ‘Additional commissioner of Police Chandra said that instructions have been given to cut down only branches that obstruct the movement of buses.’
      • ‘The High Court has ruled many times that no rally or party shall obstruct the easy movement of the public and vehicles.’
      • ‘You can only monitor people coming in, but you cannot obstruct their movement.’
      • ‘This will simply stifle business activity and unjustifiably obstruct the free movement of people within the European Union.’
      • ‘Retention of dampness from spleen deficiency can affect the kidneys by obstructing the movement of fluids.’
      • ‘Make sure that you leave some clearance between the head of the fan blades - give them a spin to make sure you haven't obstructed the fan's movement.’
      • ‘Any type hook can be used as long as it is strong enough to support your wind chime. Be sure you hang it in an area where it's freedom of movement is not obstructed by anything.’
      • ‘Positioned near Nasrallah's house, they waved banners, called to the troops through their megaphones, and attempted to obstruct the bulldozers' movements.’
      • ‘Construction equipment and trucks were reported to be obstructing tourist walks and blocking access to resort facilities.’
      • ‘So instead, he parked on the end of a row of parked cars where he felt it was out of the way and not obstructing other motorists.’
      • ‘He clarified that the trust was in the possession of the land and a previous owner obstructed the trust staff when they tried to begin construction at the site.’
      • ‘The traffic warden will be able to clearly identify the cars, and parents avoiding the parking traps will not obstruct residents in the area.’
      • ‘The woman thrust the letter back at me and then, totally ignoring me, proceeded to obstruct the next customer.’
      • ‘From a poor clearance the ball fell to Phelan who returned the kick and as he chased after it he was obstructed and the penalty was immediately awarded from where the ball had landed.’
      • ‘The escorting policemen gave vent to their ire at other road users when the peak hour traffic obstructed the VIP's movement.’
      hold up, bring to a standstill, stop, halt, block
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    2. 1.2Deliberately make (something) difficult.
      ‘fears that the regime would obstruct the distribution of food’
      • ‘Although the region is regularly described as ‘the world's worst humanitarian crisis’, his regime has obstructed humanitarian access by denying visas and travel permits to some aid workers.’
      • ‘In early 1998, the regime obstructed a UN weapons inspection team from investigating these charges.’
      • ‘On the other hand, if the government had cooperated with rather than obstructed UN weapons inspectors, it would have been more difficult for the United States to justify its policy.’
      • ‘As a designer, this often tends to be my preference simply because I have a difficult time justifying to myself why I would obstruct information when I could clearly and simply present it instead.’
      • ‘Within the coalition itself, his personal supremacy led to difficulties, particularly when he obstructed the consideration of major post-war issues.’
      hold up, bring to a standstill, stop, halt, block
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    3. 1.3Law Commit the offence of intentionally hindering (a police officer)
      ‘the appellants were arrested, and later convicted of obstructing the police’
      • ‘Going to jail because one did not understand one was arguably obstructing justice, however, is very different.’
      • ‘It is remarkably easy to obstruct justice, and this matter has been under various phases of an investigation by the Justice Department since it was referred by the CIA last summer.’
      • ‘The agency made a decision to obstruct the course of justice by systematically destroying evidence which the practices of the court might require to be produced.’
      • ‘By virtue of the obligations arising from the Treaty the Member States are under a duty not to obstruct the direct effect inherent in regulations and other rules of Community law.’
      • ‘I do not have to know I have to have substantial grounds to believe that he will seek to obstruct the course of justice or putting it another way that there is a real danger that he might interfere.’
    4. 1.4(in various sports) impede (a player in the opposing team) in a manner which constitutes an offence.
      ‘an indirect free kick is awarded for intentionally obstructing an opponent’
      • ‘Kingsford's only points came in first-half injury time via a penalty try after winger Ian Gow had been obstructed chasing John Fletcher's kick through, Fletcher converting.’
      • ‘Pirlow concedes a free-kick just inside the Italy half for obstructing Karel Pobor.’
      • ‘Alexander was deemed to have obstructed early release of the ball, even though he couldn't roll away.’
      • ‘Free-kick to Ukraine outside the box on the left-hand side, after Kalin is obstructed by Trabe.’
      • ‘Jaroslav Plasil wins a free-kick after being obstructed by Jens Novotny.’
      impede, hinder, interfere with, hamper, block, interrupt, hold up, hold back, stand in the way of, frustrate, thwart, balk, inhibit, hamstring, sabotage, encumber, slow, slow down, retard, delay, stonewall, forestall, stall, arrest, check, stop, halt, stay, derail, restrict, limit, curb, put a brake on, bridle, fetter, shackle
      View synonyms


Late 16th century from Latin obstruct- ‘blocked up’, from the verb obstruere, from ob- ‘against’ + struere ‘build, pile up’.