From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishobstacleob‧sta‧cle /ˈɒbstəkəl $ ˈɑːb-/ ●●○ noun [countable] 1 PREVENTsomething that makes it difficult to achieve somethingobstacle to Fear of change is an obstacle to progress. The tax puts obstacles in the way of companies trying to develop trade overseas. Women still have to overcome many obstacles to gain equality. We want to remove all obstacles to travel between the two countries. the single biggest obstacle to a Conservative victory in the next election There are formidable obstacles on the road to peace.2 PREVENTan object which blocks your way, so that you must try to go around itCOLLOCATIONSverbsbe an obstacleThis issue is a major obstacle to a successful peace treaty.prove an obstacle (=be an obstacle)The weather proved an obstacle, with nonstop rains flooding the field.present/pose an obstacle (=cause an obstacle to exist)Serious differences continue to present obstacles to an agreement.Our reliance on fossil fuels poses an obstacle to achieving these targets.overcome an obstacle (also surmount an obstacle formal) (=find a solution to an obstacle)We need to help young people overcome the obstacles that poverty puts in their way.remove an obstacleOpening the border removed all obstacles to trade and travel between the two countries.face an obstacle (=have to deal with an obstacle)The investigation has faced numerous obstacles.encounter an obstacle (=find that there is an obstacle)People should not encounter obstacles because of their age, sex, race, or religion.put/place obstacles in the way (=try to stop someone from doing something easily)Her father put several obstacles in the way of their marriage.adjectivesa major/serious obstacleDebt is a major obstacle to economic growth.There are serious obstacles to obtaining sufficient funding.a real obstacle (=a serious one)The lack of oil and gas resources in Northeast Asia is a real obstacle to the region's economic development.the main/biggest/greatest etc obstacleThe biggest obstacle to women's equality was social expectations of male and female roles.an insuperable/insurmountable obstacle (=one that it is impossible to find a solution to)The problem does not present an insurmountable obstacle.There are no insuperable obstacles to the purchase of the company.a formidable obstacle (=one that makes it very difficult to achieve something)There are formidable obstacles to legal reform.a legal/political/technical etc obstacleDespite technical obstacles, scientists at NASA are considering the project.phrasesan obstacle in the way/pathThere were still a number of obstacles in the way of an agreement.
Examples from the Corpusobstacle• But the man was a romantic and probably saw Steve as an obstacle he might have to overcome.• There's no reason why the fact of being a parent should be an obstacle to women's career progression.• Such abuse of power is not just a problem for women, it is potentially an obstacle to accomplishing the mission.• an obstacle in the road• As he progressed there is little doubt that he would have found his path increasingly hampered by obstacles.• The greatest obstacle to economic progress has been mass unemployment.• The deal should go through, but there are several legal obstacles to overcome first.• The main obstacle was the steep Crooksbury Hill after 19 miles, with the Punchbowl being a descent.• There still are major obstacles ahead, such as trips to Georgetown and Villanova.• She had to overcome a lot of obstacles to finally make it to drama college.• There are a number of obstacles in the way of a lasting peace settlement.• Troops may be moved over intervening models, buildings, terrain and any other obstacles or scenery.• But most entrepreneurial managers tell us that unions have not been their primary obstacle.• Getting people to care-enough to bother doing some-thing-seems to be the real obstacle.• The lack of money is a serious obstacle that could prevent the project from succeeding.formidable obstacles• Selim had formidable obstacles to overcome, however, in modernising the archaic structure of the Ottoman empire.• The Pennines presented the most formidable obstacles of all to the canals, but even they were successfully overcome.• To be sure, formidable obstacles lie ahead for advocates of a merger.Origin obstacle (1300-1400) Old French Latin obstaculum, from obstare “to stand in the way, stand in front of”