thwart

A villain's worst nightmare is the superhero who always seems to thwart his efforts, preventing him from carrying out his plans to take over the world.

Thwart is a word you'll hear in a lot of action movies, and usually it's the hero who is trying to thwart the evil plan of some super-villain. Yet even mere mortals can be thwarted in their efforts; the word simply means to prevent someone from carrying out his or her plans. An aggressive driver can thwart your attempt to snag a parking space at a crowded mall by pulling into the space before you. An aggressive shopper at that same mall can thwart your efforts to buy the last Dancing Snoopy doll by grabbing it off the shelf first.

Definitions of thwart
  1. verb
    hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of
    synonyms: baffle, bilk, confound, cross, foil, frustrate, queer, scotch, scuttle, spoil
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    types:
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    disappoint, let down
    fail to meet the hopes or expectations of
    dash
    destroy or break
    short-circuit
    hamper the progress of; impede
    ruin
    destroy or cause to fail
    betray, fail
    disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake
    come short, fall short
    fail to meet (expectations or standards)
    disenchant, disillusion
    free from enchantment
    undo
    cause the ruin or downfall of
    break
    cause the failure or ruin of
    shipwreck
    ruin utterly
    type of:
    forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, preempt, prevent
    keep from happening or arising; make impossible
  2. noun
    a crosspiece spreading the gunnels of a boat; used as a seat in a rowboat
    synonyms: cross thwart
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    type of:
    crosspiece
    a transverse brace
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