Share this entry


Synonyms of thwart in English:


  • 1 their plans to attack the embassy were thwarted
    foil, frustrate, stand in the way of, forestall, derail, dash;
    informal put a crimp in, put the kibosh on, scotch, scuttle, do for, stymie
    [Antonyms] facilitate
  • Choose the right word

    thwart, baffle, balk, foil, frustrate, inhibit
    These verbs refer to the various ways in which we can outwit or overcome opposing forces. Thwart suggests using cleverness rather than force to bring about the defeat of an enemy or to block progress toward an objective ( thwart a rebellion; have one's goals thwarted by lack of education). Balk also emphasizes setting up barriers ( a sudden reversal that balked their hopes for a speedy resolution), but it is used more often as an intransitive verb meaning to stop at an obstacle and refuse to proceed ( he balked at appearing in front of the angry crowd). To baffle is to cause defeat by bewildering or confusing ( the police were baffled by the lack of evidence), while foil means to throw off course so as to discourage further effort ( her plan to arrive early was foiled by heavy traffic). Frustrate implies rendering all attempts or efforts useless ( frustrated by the increasingly bad weather, they decided to work indoors), while inhibit suggests forcing something into inaction ( to inhibit wage increases by raising corporate taxes). Both frustrate and inhibit are used in a psychological context to suggest barriers that impede normal development or prevent the realization of natural desires ( he was both frustrated by her refusal to acknowledge his presence and inhibited by his own shyness).
    Share this entry

    What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

    Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.