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deadlock

[ded-lok]
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noun
  1. a state in which progress is impossible, as in a dispute, produced by the counteraction of opposing forces; standstill; stalemate: The union and management reached a deadlock over fringe benefits.
  2. deadbolt.
  3. a maximum-security cell for the solitary confinement of a prisoner.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to bring or come to a deadlock.
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Origin of deadlock

First recorded in 1770–80; dead + lock1
Related formsun·dead·locked, adjective

Synonyms for deadlock

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for deadlock

predicament, standstill, gridlock, dilemma, plight, standoff, box, draw, pause, halt, wall, quandary, checkmate, tie, cessation, corner, hole, pickle, posture, catch-22

Examples from the Web for deadlock

Contemporary Examples of deadlock

Historical Examples of deadlock

  • However, one was for Bassett and t'other for Ellis, so the deadlock wa'n't broken.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The situation, thanks to Martinez's stoutness, had reached a deadlock.

  • When the tuna is raised so high he will refuse to come any higher, and then there is a deadlock.

  • Why a deadlock that has lasted over a quarter of a million years?

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • There'd be a deadlock when a conclave started checking their claims.

    The Best Made Plans

    Everett B. Cole


British Dictionary definitions for deadlock

deadlock

noun
  1. a state of affairs in which further action between two opposing forces is impossible; stalemate
  2. a tie between opposite sides in a contest
  3. a lock having a bolt that can be opened only with a key
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verb
  1. to bring or come to a deadlock
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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

Word Origin and History for deadlock

n.

"complete standstill," from dead (adj.), in its emphatic use, + lock (n.). First attested 1779 in Sheridan's play "The Critic."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper