To hinder means to create an obstacle or difficulty that delays or prevents someone or something from making progress or achieving a desired outcome.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



impede, obstruct, hamper, hinder, delay, handicap, thwart, block, inhibit


facilitate, aid, assist, advance, promote

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun hindrance, hindrances, hinds, hind
Verb hinder, hindering, hinders, hindered
Adjective hinder, hind
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The heavy traffic hindered our progress, causing us to arrive late to the meeting.

  • A lack of funding can hinder the development of new technologies and advancements in various industries.

  • The strict government regulations can hinder small businesses from thriving and expanding.

  • The language barrier can hinder effective communication between individuals from different cultural backgrounds.


The word “hinder” originated from the Old English word “hindrian,” which meant “to harm, injure, or cause difficulty.” Over time, the term evolved and acquired its current meaning of creating obstacles or difficulties that impede progress.

The prefix “hind-” in “hinder” comes from the Old English word “hindan,” meaning “behind.” This indicates that hindering involves acting from a position that obstructs or slows down movement.

The suffix “-er” in “hinder” is a common suffix used to form verbs. It denotes an action or agent, as in the word “worker” or “learner.” In the case of “hinder,” it implies the action of obstructing or impeding progress.

The root of “hinder” can be traced back to the Proto-Germanic word “hindran,” which also meant “to keep back or prevent.” This root has connections to the Old Norse word “hindra” and the Old High German word “hintaron.” Consequently, the concept of hindering has been present in various Germanic languages throughout history.

In modern usage, “hinder” is primarily used as a verb. It describes the action of creating barriers or difficulties that slow down or prevent someone or something from achieving a desired goal. This can include physical, mental, or situational obstacles. However, “hinder” can also be used as an adjective, as in “hinder limbs” to describe limbs that are impaired or restricted in their movement.

Overall, the word “hinder” has a long history and is rooted in the concept of creating obstacles or difficulties that hinder progress. Its versatile usage as a verb and adjective makes it an essential term to describe hindrance, obstruction, and delay in various contexts.