Old English hindrian "to harm, injure, impair, check, repress," from Proto-Germanic *hinderojanan (cf. Old Norse hindra, Dutch hinderen, Old High German hintaron, German hindern "to keep back"), from a root meaning "on that side of, behind" (cf. hind (adj.)); thus the ground sense is "to put or keep back," though this sense in English is recorded only from late 14c. Related: Hindered; hindering.