hin·der 1 (hĭndər)
v. hin·dered, hin·der·ing, hin·ders
To obstruct or delay the progress of: a snowfall hindered the mountain climbers; lack of funds that hindered research.
To interfere with action or progress.
[Middle English hindren, from Old English hindrian; see ko- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: hinder1, hamper1, impede, obstruct, encumber
These verbs mean to slow or prevent progress or movement. To hinder is to hold back or delay, as by barring the way forward: The unfair performance review threatened to hinder her career.
Hamper suggests the imposition of restrictions or limitations: "He was a little hard of hearing; it hampered him in learning" (Oliver La Farge).
To impede is to slow by making action or movement difficult: "[The] wagon proceeded down the street at a slow walk, impeded by the crush of curiosity seekers" (Stephen O'Connor).
Obstruct implies the presence of obstacles: Passage of the bill was obstructed by a filibuster.
To encumber is to weigh down, as with complications or difficulties: "[King] Leopold particularly envied the Hapsburgs because, unlike him, they were little encumbered by parliaments and constitutions" (Adam Hochschild).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.