`to stonewall’

The word is normally used to show disapproval. When you accuse someone of `stonewalling’ what you mean is that the individual is being obstructive, uncooperative or evasive. The person is delaying taking a decision about something or refusing to answer your questions because there is something he wishes to hide.

*The principal stonewalled when the reporter asked him about the scandal on campus.

Since walls made of stones were difficult to break through, the word `stonewall’ began to be used to refer to anything that presented a formidable obstacle.

The term is also used in cricket. When a batsman `stonewalls’, he spends a lot of time at the crease without really attempting to score runs.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – May 29, 2006

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