stymie

The verb stymie means to obstruct or hinder. Constantly texting with your friends will stymie your effort to finish your homework.

Stymie was first used on the golf course in Scotland, where it referred to an opponent's ball blocking your own ball’s path to the cup. From there a verb sense developed, until finally stymie came to mean blocking with any obstacle, not just a golf ball.

Definitions of stymie
  1. verb
    hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
    synonyms: block, blockade, embarrass, hinder, obstruct, stymy
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    types:
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    stonewall
    obstruct or hinder any discussion
    filibuster
    obstruct deliberately by delaying
    check
    block or impede (a player from the opposing team) in ice hockey
    hang
    prevent from reaching a verdict, of a jury
    bottleneck
    slow down or impede by creating an obstruction
    type of:
    forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, preempt, prevent
    keep from happening or arising; make impossible
  2. noun
    a thwarting and distressing situation
    synonyms: stymy
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    type of:
    obstacle, obstruction
    something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted
  3. noun
    a situation in golf where an opponent's ball blocks the line between your ball and the hole
    synonyms: stymy
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    type of:
    position, situation
    a condition or position in which you find yourself
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