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stumbling block

an obstacle or hindrance to progress, belief, or understanding.
Origin of stumbling block
hurdle, barrier, impediment, block, bar. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stumbling-block
Historical Examples
  • Was it not want of discipline that made me a stumbling-block that memorable night in the Club?

    The Belovd Vagabond William J. Locke
  • I do not know where has been the stumbling-block altogether.

    David Fleming's Forgiveness Margaret Murray Robertson
  • He asked himself again and again, Is my use of tobacco a stumbling-block in the way of any?

    Select Temperance Tracts American Tract Society
  • "I do not know," I said, feeling sadly what a stumbling-block it was.

    Daisy Elizabeth Wetherell
  • He knows that love of pleasure is my stumbling-block, and he plays on my weakness.

    The Weight of the Crown Fred M. White
  • This corporal was a regular “character;” and, from the first, had been feared as our stumbling-block.

    Captain Canot Brantz Mayer
  • John Tullis was the joint stepping-stone and stumbling-block in the deliberations of the cabinet.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • He was so besotted by the demon that life could henceforth be only a misery to him, and a stumbling-block to her.

    Work and Win Oliver Optic
  • But his old fault of impetuosity again proved his stumbling-block.

  • Happily, Mr. Knight was at hand to remove that stumbling-block.

British Dictionary definitions for stumbling-block

stumbling block

any impediment or obstacle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with stumbling-block

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® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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