• WordNet 3.6
    • n obstacle an obstruction that stands in the way (and must be removed or surmounted or circumvented)
    • n obstacle something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted "lack of imagination is an obstacle to one's advancement","the poverty of a district is an obstacle to good education","the filibuster was a major obstruction to the success of their plan"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Colgate faced a big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command "go hang yourself."
    • n Obstacle That which stands in the way, or opposes; anything that hinders progress; a hindrance; an obstruction, physical or moral. "If all obstacles were cut away.
      And that my path were even to the crown."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The slowest trainee on the SEALs obstacle course must wear a pink T-shirt that reads, "Always a Lady".
    • n obstacle That which opposes or stands in the way; something that obstructs progress; a hindrance or obstruction.
    • n obstacle Objection; opposition.
    • n obstacle Synonyms Difficulty, Obstacle, Obstruction, Impediment, check, barrier. A difficulty embarrasses, an obstacle stops us. We remove [or overcome] the one, we surmount the other. Generally the first expresses something arising from the nature and circumstances of the affair; the second something arising from a foreign cause. An obstruction blocks the passage, and is generally put in the way intentionally. An impediment literally clogs the feet and so may continue with one, hindering his progress, while a difficulty once overcome, an obstacle once surmounted, or an obstruction once broken down, leaves one free to go forward without hindrance.
    • obstacle Obstinate; stubborn.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Obstacle ob′sta-kl anything that stands in the way of or hinders progress: obstruction
    • ***


  • Albert Schweitzer
    “One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.”
  • Victor Kiam
    Victor Kiam
    “Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.”
  • Frank A. Clark
    “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.”
  • Bernard Le Bovier Fontenelle
    Bernard Le Bovier Fontenelle
    “A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness.”
  • Bavee
    “The greatest obstacle to progress is prejudice.”
  • Moliere
    “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. L. obstaculum, fr. obstare, to withstand, oppose; ob,see Ob-) + stare, to stand. See Stand. and cf. Oust (v.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. obstaculumob, in the way of, stāre, to stand.


In literature:

Do you think the crew is sorry for the obstacles that I meet with?
"The English at the North Pole" by Jules Verne
Nothing could save me but a miraculouth removal of the obstacle.
"The Crooked House" by Brandon Fleming
There is no longer an obstacle.
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid
Meanwhile Francis was preparing to raise more material obstacles to the Emperor's designs.
"History of the English People" by John Richard Green
Love demands opposition and obstacle.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13" by Elbert Hubbard
Distance will interpose no obstacle or difficulty, for thought overcomes space and time.
"The Life Radiant" by Lilian Whiting
This condition was a serious obstacle to the ready sale of location orders.
"The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2)" by John West
Cromwell was still a subordinate; but genius breaks through all obstacles, and overleaps all boundaries.
"A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon" by John Lord
What obstacle impedes your union?
"Fairy Fingers" by Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
He was unable to drag his eyes from the gun, consequently he stumbled and lurched over every obstacle.
"Two on the Trail" by Hulbert Footner

In poetry:

Shoot above the crowd, boys,
Brace yourself and go,
When you meet obstacles
Strike them with a blow.
"A Chat With the Boys" by Frank Barbour Coffin
Tall cloud-mountains and vast space-seas
Wind, and tempest, and fire—
What are obstacles such as these
To a heart that is filled with desire
"The Rape Of The Mist" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The ass was the first of all animals to fall finally into love,
From obstacle-leaping pride,
Mare obstacle,
Into love, mare-goal, and the knowledge of love.
"The Ass" by D H Lawrence
It needs not ask St. Peter for his key,
But may through all the angels pass alone,
Without one obstacle to block its way,
Boldly unto our blessed Saviour's throne.
"Concerning Prayer, And Its Proper Requisites" by Rees Prichard
Ah then, when he tore the wind with his teeth,
And trod wolves underfoot,
And over-rode his mares as if he were savagely leaping an
obstacle, to set his teeth in the sun. . . .
"The Ass" by D H Lawrence
While the Duke of Cambridge with the colours of two Regiments of Guards
Presses forward, and no obstacle his courage retards,
And with him about one hundred men,
And to keep up their courage he was singing a hymn to them.
"The Battle of Inkermann" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Major obstacles in communication of first responders.
How to Fly Over Recessionary Obstacles.
Resistance to injections is one of three main obstacles to patients getting on a biologic, a Credit Suisse survey found.
But there are students who do finish in four years – despite obstacles.
The nuclear enrichment at a once-secret underground facility in Iran, confirmed Monday by the UN, is seen as both an argument to resume negotiations and an obstacle to their resumption.
Where many would see obstacles, Rüf sees opportunities.
Salim Tamari, director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies, explains his opposition to the fence Israel is building and shares his thoughts on the obstacles to peace in the region.
Just an Average Guy Overcoming Obstacles, Helping Keep the Earth Well Salted .
Australian shepherd Satori and Hannah Kampa demonstrate an agility obstacle in their backyard course.
Call center workers at Aethon in Pittsburgh manually steer tug robots around obstacles at any of 100 hospitals across the US.
In Oklahoma Case, Another Legal Obstacle to Banning Sharia Law .
' Shogun ' confronts tall obstacle in Jon Jones.
Sammy Davis Jr, a versatile and dynamic singer, dancer and actor who overcame extraordinary obstacles to become a leading American entertainer, died of throat cancer yesterday at his home in Los Angeles.
Mike Duggan's skin color not his only obstacle in bid for Detroit mayor's seat.
Doctors say sleepwalking is usually harmless, though it can lead to injuries if sleepwalkers fall or run into obstacles.

In science:

Sj¨ostrand, Density of resonances for strictly convex analytic obstacles, Can. J.
Universality and scaling of zeros on symplectic manifolds
One particular obstacle to calculating the higher-loop terms in this series is that it is necessary to integrate over loops containing propagators of massless fields.
M(atrix) Theory: Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Fundamental Theory
Random obstacles which prevent the chain from visiting certain sites.
Localization of polymers in a finite medium with fixed random obstacles
We denote by x the probability that any given lattice site is occupied by an obstacle (block).
Localization of polymers in a finite medium with fixed random obstacles
First, let us assume that there are no obstacles present inside this spherical region.
Localization of polymers in a finite medium with fixed random obstacles