Other forms: hindrances

A hindrance is something in the way, an obstacle. An untied shoelace is a hindrance to walking, and tripping in the lunchroom might be a hindrance to getting a seat at the cool table.

You might hear the phrase, "more of a hindrance than a help." It means that something intended to be a positive force has the opposite effect, like when your four-year-old sister tries to help you make dinner. Hindrance refers to the act of slowing things down, or the thing that's causing the problem, like your "helpful" little sister. It's the noun form of the verb hinder, which is "to get in the way."

Definitions of hindrance
  1. noun
    any obstruction that impedes or is burdensome
    synonyms: encumbrance, hinderance, hitch, incumbrance, interference, preventative, preventive
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    any object that acts as a hindrance or obstruction
    speed bump
    a hindrance to speeding created by a crosswise ridge in the surface of a roadway
    type of:
    impediment, impedimenta, obstructer, obstruction, obstructor
    any structure that makes progress difficult
  2. noun
    something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress
    synonyms: balk, baulk, check, deterrent, handicap, hinderance, impediment
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    albatross, millstone
    (figurative) something that hinders or handicaps
    something that hinders as if with bonds
    diriment impediment
    (canon law) an impediment that invalidates a marriage (such as the existence of a prior marriage)
    something that slows or delays progress
    obstacle, obstruction
    something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted
    anything immaterial that severely hinders or confines
    barrier, roadblock
    any condition that makes it difficult to make progress or to achieve an objective
    hang-up, hitch, rub, snag
    an unforeseen obstacle
    an obstacle that you are expected to overcome
    stymie, stymy
    a thwarting and distressing situation
    type of:
    a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result
  3. noun
    the act of hindering or obstructing or impeding
    synonyms: hinderance, interference
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    foiling, frustration, thwarting
    an act of hindering someone's plans or efforts
    (biochemistry) interference in or inhibition of the physiological action of a chemical substance by another having a similar structure
    the act of obstructing
    the act or process of complicating
    the act or process of discouraging actions or preventing occurrences by instilling fear or doubt or anxiety
    bar, prevention
    the act of preventing
    blockage, closure, occlusion
    the act of blocking
    stall, stalling
    a tactic used to mislead or delay
    the act of discouraging
    nuclear deterrence
    the military doctrine that an enemy will be deterred from using nuclear weapons as long as he can be destroyed as a consequence
    the act of preventing something from occurring
    the act of prevention by legal means
    the act of preventing someone from participating by finding them unqualified
    the act of intercepting; preventing something from proceeding or arriving
    non-proliferation, nonproliferation
    the prevention of something increasing or spreading (especially the prevention of an increase in the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons)
    forestalling, obviation, preclusion
    the act of preventing something by anticipating and disposing of it effectively
    the prevention of disease
    (sports) the act of preventing the opposition from scoring
    crushing, quelling, stifling, suppression
    forceful prevention; putting down by power or authority
    obstruction of justice
    impeding those who seek justice in a court (as by trying to influence or intimidate any juror or witness or officer of the court); can result in a finding of contempt of court
    type of:
    act, deed, human action, human activity
    something that people do or cause to happen
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘hindrance'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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