stonewall

To stonewall is to deliberately hold something up or delay it, especially by refusing to cooperate or answer questions. A big company might stonewall when its workers try to negotiate for higher pay — and your parents might stonewall when you try to negotiate for a higher allowance.

A press secretary stonewalls when she avoids directly answering a reporter's pointed questions, and you stonewall when you change the subject rather than commit to visiting your grandma. The word stonewall was coined as a nickname for Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson, who was described as "standing like a stone wall" as the enemy approached. It was originally a noun, meaning "an act of obstruction."

Definitions of stonewall
  1. verb
    engage in delaying tactics or refuse to cooperate
    “The President stonewalled when he realized the plot was being uncovered by a journalist”
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    type of:
    delay, detain, hold up
    cause to be slowed down or delayed
  2. verb
    obstruct or hinder any discussion
    “Nixon stonewalled the Watergate investigation”
    “When she doesn't like to face a problem, she simply stonewalls
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    type of:
    block, blockade, embarrass, hinder, obstruct, stymie, stymy
    hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
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