A literal roadblock is a barricade or obstruction that's meant to block traffic. A figurative roadblock is any situation you encounter that makes it difficult or impossible to do what you want or need to do.

When a driver encounters a roadblock, she has to stop and go back, or to take a detour and use a different route. This sort of roadblock might be set up to divert cars away from construction or an accident. Other roadblocks are obstructions to progress, like a lawsuit that halts construction on a building or the high cost of something: "The price of converting to a solar water heater was a roadblock to our plans."

Definitions of roadblock

n any condition that makes it difficult to make progress or to achieve an objective

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ideological barrier
a barrier to cooperation or interaction resulting from conflicting ideologies
language barrier
barrier to communication resulting from speaking different languages
iron curtain
an impenetrable barrier to communication or information especially as imposed by rigid censorship and secrecy; used by Winston Churchill in 1946 to describe the demarcation between democratic and communist countries
bamboo curtain
an ideological barrier around communist China especially in the 1950s and 1960s
Jim Crow, color bar, color line, colour bar, colour line
barrier preventing blacks from participating in various activities with whites
Type of:
obstacle, obstruction
something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted

n a barrier set up by police to stop traffic on a street or road in order to catch a fugitive or inspect traffic etc.

Type of:
a structure or object that impedes free movement

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