Word of the Day Archive
Thursday July 5, 2012
1. To hinder, block, or thwart.
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.
This rule, and its corollary—admit nothing into the ambit of the characters' consciousness which would not reasonably have been there—accounts for both the authenticity of Ulysses and much of its ability to stymie its readers.
-- James Joyce, Jeri Johnson, "Introduction," Ulysses
No, I won't stymie you, but I could, real fast, you know that.
-- Catherine Coulter, KnockOut
Stymie is of unknown origin. It came into common usage in the 1830s, before the rise of golf as a popular game.