from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To be an obstacle to; prevent the advancement or success of; thwart or stump.
  • noun An obstacle or obstruction.
  • noun Sports A situation in golf in which an opponent's ball obstructs the line of play of one's own ball on the putting green.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See stimy.
  • noun In golf-playing, a position in which a player has to putt for the hole with his opponent's ball directly in the line of his approach.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Golf) To bring into the position of, or impede by, a stymie.
  • (Golf) The position of two balls on the putting green such that, being more than six inches apart, one ball lies directly between the other and the hole at which the latter must be played; also, the act of bringing the balls into this position.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An obstacle or obstruction.
  • noun golf A situation where an opponent's ball is directly in the way of one's own ball and the hole, on the putting green.
  • verb To thwart or stump; to cause to fail or to leave hopelessly puzzled, confused, or stuck.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
  • noun a situation in golf where an opponent's ball blocks the line between your ball and the hole
  • noun a thwarting and distressing situation


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Originally, a golf ball obstructing one's line of play; perhaps akin to Scots stymie, person with poor vision (perhaps from styme, in to se nocht ane styme, not to see a glimmer (of something)).]


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  • That situation was called a stymie, and the term came to mean any block or obstruction. tee off; teed off To tee off is to begin the play of a hole by driving the ball off the tee.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIII No 2 1986

  • He had a great game, but fortunately we had a balance enough of attack to kind of stymie whatever he was able to do, '' Gordon said. 2008

  • This is a very useful stroke to practise, for the particular kind of stymie to which it applies occurs very frequently, and is one of the most exasperating of all.

    The Complete Golfer Harry Vardon 1903

  • But former city Lord Mayor Cllr Dermot Lacey (Lab) says there is opposition to the new post from a 'coalition of Fianna Fáil backbenchers and bureaucrats' who want to 'stymie'

    RTÉ News 2010

  • That's right, the bitch is flaming mad (you can tell by the use of the word "stymie"), and not gonna take it anymore.

    Dealbreaker 2009

  • That's right, the bitch is flaming mad (you can tell by the use of the word "stymie"), and not gonna take it anymore.

    Dealbreaker 2009

  • Sony has admitted to the Economist that certain Japanese executives tried to "stymie" his new vision for the Company.

    unknown title 2009

  • It's still unclear whether AAR is seeking to participate in the Rosneft-BP partnership or to stymie it completely.

    BP Suggests Arbitration in Russia Dispute Guy Chazan 2011

  • So hammerer sounds like you want to stymie the free market capitalism of the insurance companies.

    Obama administration begins legal defense of health care law 2010

  • Republicans can expect "a rather dismal future" with Hispanic voters if they stymie reform or tolerate heated anti-immigrant rhetoric, he argued.

    Ohio governor: Crowded agenda could hurt Dems in November 2010


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  • Whoda thunk it was a golf word? (Well, maybe a golfer woulda thunk it.)

    June 26, 2007

  • Interesting! And I'm guessing it's of Scottish origin?

    June 26, 2007

  • The pooltable equivalent is snooker.

    June 27, 2007

  • Small Stocks Stymie ETFs

    --Wall Street Journal 6/16/08

    Push to block new rules on Web gambling stymied

    --Las Vegas Review-Journal

    June 26, 2008

  • Both versions of the word with the suffix "-ing" are strangely written: stymying and stymieing.

    March 17, 2011