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roadblock

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
  1. noun
    any condition that makes it difficult to make progress or to achieve an objective
    synonyms: barrier
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    types:
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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
    any impenetrable barrier preventing the exchange of information or ideas
    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
  2. noun
    a barrier set up by police to stop traffic on a street or road in order to catch a fugitive or inspect traffic etc.
    synonyms: barricade
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    type of:
    barrier
    a structure or object that impedes free movement
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