stymie

[stahy-mee]
noun
1.
Golf. (on a putting green) an instance of a ball's lying on a direct line between the cup and the ball of an opponent about to putt.
2.
a situation or problem presenting such difficulties as to discourage or defeat any attempt to deal with or resolve it.
verb (used with object), stymied, stymieing.
3.
to hinder, block, or thwart.
Also, stymy, stimy.


Origin:
1855–60; origin uncertain


3. stump, mystify, frustrate, confound.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stymie or stymy (ˈstaɪmɪ)
 
vb , -mies, -mieing, -mied, -mies, -mying, -mied
1.  to hinder or thwart
2.  golf to impede with a stymie
 
n , -mies, -mieing, -mied, -mies, -mying, -mied, -mies
3.  golf (formerly) a situation on the green in which an opponent's ball is blocking the line between the hole and the ball about to be played: an obstructing ball may now be lifted and replaced by a marker
4.  a situation of obstruction
 
[C19: of uncertain origin]
 
stymy or stymy
 
vb
 
n
 
[C19: of uncertain origin]

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

stymie
1834, (n.), "condition in which an opponent's golf ball blocks the hole," perhaps from Scottish stymie "person who sees poorly," from stime "the least bit" (c.1300), of uncertain origin (Icelandic cognate skima is attested from c.1685). The verb, in golf, is from 1857; general sense of "block, hinder,
thwart" is from 1902.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Now researchers are finding that they can easily stymie the oxidation process
  and defuse cholesterol.
So much gas-primarily hydrogen-that if it builds up, it can stymie the
  fermenting bacteria's further growth.
If you want to protect a particular animal species, and stymie normal
  evolution, that's fine.
Be aware however that government bureaucrats can try to stymie your request.
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