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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for blind alley

cul-de-sac, impasse, tangent

Examples from the Web for blind alley

Historical Examples of blind alley

  • It darted around the blind-alley shelf and was back a moment later.

    Space Prison

    Tom Godwin

  • It ends in a blind-alley, less than a twelfth of an inch from the surface of the wood.

  • The second glaring instance of a blind-alley theme is that of Monna Vanna.


    William Archer

  • A blind-alley theme, as its name imports, is one from which there is no exit.


    William Archer

  • She had him at the end of a blind-alley, and there he must wait until she was ready to let him go.

    Parrot & Co.

    Harold MacGrath

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

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.