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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.
To block or thwart; frustrate: Instead, the drive toward integration has been stymied by the speed-bump of crime
[1857+ Golf; origin uncertain; perhaps fr British dialect stimey, ''dim-sighted person,'' fr stime, ''ray or bit of light''; adopted in golf for situations where the player or, as it were, the ball cannot ''see'' a clear path ahead]