Synonym for Obstacle — Definition, Antonyms, and Examples

Not everything in life goes smoothly, nor do we always…

Not everything in life goes smoothly, nor do we always get what we want. The challenges that prevent us from reaching our goals are called obstacles. They can have physical, psychological, or emotional contexts. An overused synonym for obstacle is “barrier.”

But don’t stop here. Many words are able to describe an obstacle. Let’s go over some of them.

A  barrier with a signage that says
Photo by Raúl Nájera on Unsplash

Definition of the Word “Obstacle.”

According to the English dictionary, the word obstacle refers to anything that prevents something from being achieved. It can also refer to a challenge you might face while pursuing a goal.

Sentence Examples:

  • Spartan Race participants should prepare to meet obstacles.
  • An unreliable internet connection is an obstacle to remote work.
  • This obstacle is prevalent in self-driving cars.
  • His lack of confidence is an obstacle he needs to overcome if he wants to become an actor.

Synonym for Obstacle — Exploring Words with Similar Meanings

The main idea behind an obstacle is that it is something that keeps you from achieving a goal. This definition is broad, therefore, there are plenty of synonyms for “obstacle.” You may want to check a thesaurus if you need more examples apart from the ones below:

Obstruction

An obstruction is anything that blocks, restricts, or impedes the movements of something. We refer to it in a physical context.

For example:

  • The obstruction on the road forced us to take a detour.

Impediment

An impediment refers to something that limits or impedes an ability. 

For example:

  • Arnold developed a speech impediment after the accident. He has difficulty talking.

Hindrance

A hindrance is a burden or inconvenience that delays action or goal.

For example:

  • The supply chain problems were a significant hindrance to business operations.

Handicap

A handicap is a condition limiting a person’s ability to compete in certain activities. It is in a physical, psychological, and political context.

For example:

  • handicap introduces a new layer of difficulty to any activity.

Hurdle

This noun refers to a barrier that we have to overcome. As a verb, it refers to jumping over a hurdle.

For example:

  • The quick brown fox jumped over the hurdle gracefully.

Antonyms for Obstacle – Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

An obstacle impedes progress, while an obstacle antonym should facilitate progress. Here are some examples:

Advantage

An advantage refers to an ability or trait that increases your chances of succeeding. It also refers to a favorable position or condition.

For example:

  • His keen attention to detail is an advantage over his peers.

Benefit

A benefit refers to a positive outcome of an action. It also refers to the state of receiving a positive effect from an action.

For example:

  • Regular exercise yields many long-term benefits.

Clearance

Clearance refers to authority or permission given to a user. It usually describes a document granting one passage through an obstacle or checkpoint.

For example:

  • I have a Level 4 security clearance. I can go anywhere!

Takeaway

As you might already know, there’s always a better way to say and write things. You can drastically improve your fluency by practicing using the precise words that best represent your message. You may also want to check out our guides on other words if you want to learn more.

Frequently asked questions

Synonym for Obstacle — Definition, Antonyms, and Examples

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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