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
   [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]
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