When you obstruct something, you block it. If you’re gobbling down your pizza, a chunk of crust you didn’t chew so well might obstruct your airway and you'll choke.

Obstruct also means to get in the way so that you hide something from view. That fast food tower being built next to your beach house will obstruct your lovely ocean vistas. And that scene gives you a vivid illustration of the Latin roots the word comes from: ob- "against," and struere, "build." You can also obstruct something or someone by putting up a roadblock, literal or figurative: when you park yourself by the exit door, you obstruct everybody's way out.

Definitions of obstruct
  1. verb
    block passage through
    obstruct the path”
    synonyms: block, close up, impede, jam, obturate, occlude
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    disengage, free
    free or remove obstruction from
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    block off, blockade
    obstruct access to
    barricade, barricado
    block off with barricades
    prevent access to by barricading
    asphyxiate, choke, stifle, suffocate
    impair the respiration of or obstruct the air passage of
    tie up
    restrain from moving or operating normally
    dam, dam up
    obstruct with, or as if with, a dam
    block out, screen
    prevent from entering
    earth up, land up
    block with earth, as after a landslide
    bar, barricade, block, block off, block up, blockade, stop
    render unsuitable for passage
    back up, choke, choke off, clog, clog up, congest, foul
    become or cause to become obstructed
    gum up
    stick together as if with gum
    block off, close off, shut off
    block off the passage through
    protect from light, heat, or view
    bar access to
    crap up
    become obstructed or chocked up
    block, choke up, lug, stuff
    silt, silt up
    become chocked with silt
    type of:
    hinder, impede
    be a hindrance or obstacle to
  2. verb
    hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
    synonyms: block, blockade, embarrass, hinder, stymie, stymy
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    obstruct or hinder any discussion
    obstruct deliberately by delaying
    block or impede (a player from the opposing team) in ice hockey
    prevent from reaching a verdict, of a jury
    slow down or impede by creating an obstruction
    type of:
    forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, preempt, prevent
    keep from happening or arising; make impossible
  3. verb
    shut out from view or get in the way so as to hide from sight
    “The trees obstruct my view of the mountains”
    synonyms: block
    bar, barricade, block, block off, block up, blockade, stop
    render unsuitable for passage
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    type of:
    conceal, hide
    prevent from being seen or discovered
Word Family
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