That which stands in the way, or opposes; anything that hinders progress; a hindrance; an obstruction, physical or moral. If all obstacles were cut away. And that my path were even to the crown. (Shak)
Synonym: Impediment, obstruction, hindrance, difficulty. See Impediment, and obstruction.
Origin: f, fr. L. Obstaculum, fr. Obstare to withstand, oppose; ob (see ob-) – stare to stand. See stand. And cf. Oust.