stumbling block

noun
an obstacle or hindrance to progress, belief, or understanding.

Origin:
1580–90


hurdle, barrier, impediment, block, bar.
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World English Dictionary
stumbling block
 
n
any impediment or obstacle

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

stumbling block

A hindrance or obstacle, as in His lack of a degree is a real stumbling block to his advancement. This term originally meant "a tree stump over which one trips." Its figurative use dates from the early 1500s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
But the project has encountered an unexpected stumbling block.
If you reach a stumbling block, try using the one-minute struggle.
Research has found that the need for remedial math in college is a major
  stumbling block toward graduation.
The big stumbling block for them is the calc-based physics.
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