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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Obstacle \Ob"sta*cle\, n. [F., fr. L. obstaculum, fr. obstare to withstand, oppose; ob (see Ob-) + stare to stand. See Stand. and cf. Oust, v.] That which stands in the way, or opposes; anything that hinders progress; a hindrance; an obstruction, physical or moral. [1913 Webster] If all obstacles were cut away. And that my path were even to the crown. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Syn: Impediment; obstuction; hindrance; difficulty. See Impediment, and Obstruction. [1913 Webster]