1. something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted

- lack of imagination is an obstacle to one's advancement

- the poverty of a district is an obstacle to good education

- the filibuster was a major obstruction to the success of their plan

Similar word(s): obstruction

Definition categories: thought, balk, baulk, check, deterrent, handicap, hinderance, hindrance, impediment

2. an obstruction that stands in the way (and must be removed or surmounted or circumvented)

Definition categories: man–made, impediment, impedimenta, obstructer, obstruction, obstructor

Sentences with obstacle as a noun:

- A big obstacle to understanding the manual was that it had been poorly translated from the Japanese.