[ grid-lok ]
/ ˈgrɪdˌlɒk /


the stoppage of free vehicular movement in an urban area because key intersections are blocked by traffic.
the blocking of an intersection by vehicular traffic entering the intersection but unable to pass through it.
any situation in which nothing can move or proceed in any direction: a financial gridlock due to high interest rates.

Origin of gridlock

An Americanism dating back to 1975–80; grid + lock1

Related forms

grid·locked, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gridlock

British Dictionary definitions for gridlock


/ (ˈɡrɪdˌlɒk) mainly US /


obstruction of urban traffic caused by queues of vehicles forming across junctions and causing further queues to form in the intersecting streets
a point in a dispute at which no agreement can be reached; deadlockpolitical gridlock


(tr) (of traffic) to block or obstruct (an area)
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