Definition of obstruction in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əbˈstrəkSH(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /äbˈstrəkSH(ə)n/


1The action of obstructing or the state of being obstructed: they faced obstruction in carrying out their research walkers could proceed with the minimum of obstruction
More example sentences
  • What is unhealthy is the growing habit of obstruction, delay and occasional flat refusal to co-operate.
  • For the administration and its conservative allies, the United Nations represents embarrassment and obstruction.
  • Remember, snoring means obstructed breathing, and obstruction can be serious.
1.1A thing that impedes or prevents passage or progress; an obstacle or blockage: the tractor hit an obstruction
More example sentences
  • The nylon line that anglers use frequently breaks when hooks become snagged on underwater obstructions or bankside vegetation.
  • Check for depth and obstructions before diving, then go in feet first for the initial try.
  • Because there had been no trains on the line for two days because of Christmas he was checking for fallen trees or other obstructions.
blockage, stoppage, congestion, bottleneck, holdup, jam;
Medicine  occlusion
informal fly in the ointment, monkey wrench (in the works)
1.2(In various sports) the action of unlawfully obstructing a player on the opposing team.
Example sentences
  • Melvin, too, was informed that the only player guilty of obstruction was Lopez.
  • After four minutes Barnhall were awarded a penalty when a Naas player was penalised for obstruction.
  • It's true that less obstruction helps all players and speeds up the game.
1.3 Medicine Blockage of a bodily passageway, as the intestines.
Example sentences
  • A thorough examination of the head and neck should be performed to look for obstruction, inflammation and infection.
  • An infectious cause should be suspected in children with signs and symptoms of airway obstruction accompanied by a prodromal illness or fever.
  • Intestinal strictures and bowel obstruction may develop in patients with refractory sprue or celiac disease that has been untreated over a long period.
1.4 Law The action of deliberately hindering a legal process.
Example sentences
  • The refusal of a citizen to identify himself under such circumstances causes a major inconvenience and obstruction to the police in carrying out their proper duties.
  • After being charged with the thefts and obstruction, police released him on bail to appear before magistrates the following week but he failed to turn up.
  • The adults, who had been staying in the motel room, were charged with cruelty to children, public indecency and obstruction of police and were taken to a psychiatric ward.


Mid 16th century: from Latin obstructio(n-), from the verb obstruere (see obstruct).

Words that rhyme with obstruction

abduction, conduction, construction, deduction, destruction, eduction, effluxion, induction, instruction, introduction, misconstruction, production, reduction, ruction, seduction, suction, underproduction

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ob·struc·tion

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.