Definition of obstruct in English:

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Pronunciation: /əbˈstrəkt/
Pronunciation: /äbˈstrəkt/


[with object]
1Block (an opening, path, road, etc.); be or get in the way of: she was obstructing the entrance
More example sentences
  • 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.
block (up), clog (up), get in the way of, jam (up), cut off, shut off, bung up, choke, dam up;
barricade, bar
technical occlude
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
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.2Deliberately make (something) difficult: fears that the regime would obstruct the distribution of food
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.3 Law Commit the offense of intentionally hindering (a legal process).
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.4(In various sports) impede (a player on the opposing team) in a manner that constitutes an offense.
Example sentences
  • 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.
impede, hinder, interfere with, hamper, hobble, block, interrupt, hold up, stand in the way of, frustrate, thwart, balk, inhibit, hamstring, sabotage;
slow down, retard, delay, stonewall, stall, stop, halt, stay, restrict, limit, curb, put a brake on, bridle
informal stymie



Pronunciation: /-tər/
Example sentences
  • He will increasingly be seen as a querulous and ineffective obstructor of the President's policies, which are popular in South Dakota.
  • And, this is exactly what the terrorists want to be - obstructors of peace!
  • If presented with this I suppose the President would say.... heh I'm a constructor, not an obstructor.


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

Words that rhyme with obstruct

abduct, adduct, conduct, construct, destruct, duct, instruct, misconduct

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ob·struct

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