I am searching words for making it difficult for something to do, and found the verb "hinder", which is defined in LONGMAN dictionary as follows with some examples:

to make it difficult for something to develop or succeed

His career has been hindered by injury.

policies that will hinder rather than help families

It seems that this word is usually used to describe bad things. Can this be used to describe good things, for example, as follows?

Painting a wooden door will hinder degradation of the door.

  • You mean to stop bad things from happening, right? :)
    – Lambie
    Feb 24, 2019 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


Hinder simply means to make it difficult for something to develop or succeed. In itself the word is neither negative nor positive. What is hindered can be a good, neutral, or bad thing. It is good if vaccination hinders the spread of a disease, but bad if police slowness hinders the fight against crime.


Yes you can use "hinder degradation" It is rare, but here is an example: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15046348

Similarly there are examples of "Hinder decay" http://orbit.dtu.dk/en/publications/matrix-changes-and-side-effects-induced-by-electrokinetic-treatment-of-porous-and-particulate-materials(e2b50eb8-325f-4c2a-ac0c-4b05aa410074).html

Transport of ions in an applied electric field holds many applications[... E.g.] for desalination of porous stone materials to hinder decay.

"Hinder" and "degradation" are already fairly rare words, and in this context is it limited to a formal context. "to prevent degradation" or "to slow degradation" are possible alternatives.

  • For some reasons, I don't want to use the word "prevent". Is it appropriate to use "restrain" or "inhibit" instead of "hinder" in my example sentence?
    – rama9
    Feb 24, 2019 at 11:01
  • 1
    Hinder isn't very rare, it is fairly rare and is normally in an at least moderately formal context. You also can edit if you spot spelling mistakes.
    – James K
    Feb 24, 2019 at 16:58
  • Fairly rare, moderately formal. Sounds like my native head space. Feb 25, 2019 at 22:38

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