Definition of obstacle noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɒbstəkl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːbstəkl//
    Equine sports
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  1. 1obstacle (to something/to doing something) a situation, an event, etc. that makes it difficult for you to do or achieve something synonym hindrance A lack of qualifications can be a major obstacle to finding a job. So far, we have managed to overcome all the obstacles that have been placed in our path. The MP claims that there is now no obstacle to him standing at the next general election.
  2. 2an object that is in your way and that makes it difficult for you to move forward The area was full of streams and bogs and other natural obstacles.
  3. 3(in showjumping) a fence, etc. for a horse to jump over See related entries: Equine sports
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin obstaculum, from obstare ‘impede’, from ob- ‘against’ + stare ‘stand’.Extra examples Lack of childcare provision can be a major obstacle for women wishing to work. Lack of money has proved an almost insurmountable obstacle. The attitude of the unions is a serious obstacle. The huge distances involved have proved an obstacle to communication between villages. The release of prisoners remains an obstacle in the path of a peace agreement. the joy of overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles He managed with difficulty to negotiate the obstacles strewn across the floor. So far, we have managed to overcome all the obstacles placed in our path. This huge open ditch forms the biggest obstacle on the course.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: obstacle