dead end

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See synonyms for: dead end / dead-ending / dead-ends on Thesaurus.com


something, as a street or water pipe, that has no exit.
a position that offers no hope of progress; blind alley; cul-de-sac: His theory led him to a dead end.



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Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of dead end

First recorded in 1885–90

Definition for dead end (2 of 2)

[ ded-end ]
/ ˈdɛdˈɛnd /


terminating in a dead end: a dead-end street.
Also dead-ended. having no possibility for or hope of progress, advancement, etc.: a low-level, dead-end job.
leading a life in the slums: growing up as a tough dead-end kid.

verb (used without object)

to come to a dead end: The road dead-ends at the lake.

Origin of dead-end

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for dead end

dead end


another name for cul-de-sac
a situation in which further progress is impossible
dead-end (as modifier)a dead-end street; a dead-end job


(intr) mainly US and Canadian to come to a dead end
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 dead end

dead end


A passage that has no exit, as in This street's a dead end, so turn back. [Late 1800s]


An impasse or blind alley, allowing no progress to be made. For example, This job is a dead end; I'll never be able to advance. [c. 1920]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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