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blind alley

a road, alley, etc., that is open at only one end.
a position or situation offering no hope of progress or improvement:
That line of reasoning will only lead you up another blind alley.
Origin of blind alley
First recorded in 1575-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for blind alley
Historical Examples
  • He knew what that meant; this road was like a blind alley, with no outlet.

    The Web of the Golden Spider

    Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • You may say to me, 'Have you led me into a blind alley, out of which I cannot get?

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Alexander Maclaren
  • It is nothing else than the stuffy, blind alley known as the Devil's Kitchen.

    Wild Animals at Home Ernest Thompson Seton
  • There was not a retired court, a dark lane, or a blind alley, with which he was unfamiliar.

    Sunk at Sea R.M. Ballantyne
  • Every way he looked, he seemed to be peering into a blind alley.

    The Luminous Face Carolyn Wells
  • Would he reach some blind alley and be at the mercy of the pursuing crowd?

    The Threatening Eye Edward Frederick Knight
  • As the Captain had previously reported, it was a blind alley.

    A Lively Bit of the Front Percy F. Westerman
  • The young Jews have the foresight to avoid "blind alley" occupations.

    The Old World in the New Edward Alsworth Ross
  • He had not moved from Butcher back to life, but had run from Butcher down a blind alley.

    Old Mole Gilbert Cannan
  • It was not a blind alley, stopping at the point now reached.

British Dictionary definitions for blind alley

blind alley

an alley open at one end only; cul-de-sac
(informal) a situation in which no further progress can be made
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with blind alley

blind alley

A dead end; a position without hope of progress or success. For example, That line of questioning led the attorney up yet another blind alley. This term alludes to a street or alley that has no outlet at one end. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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