- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gridlock
Such admiration for the American system sounds strange in this era of gridlock and bickering.Communism's Victims Deserve a Museum
August 25, 2014
Yes, gridlock frustration and national debt nausea are understandable.Flushing Money Down the Tea Party Toilet
August 19, 2014
So today, gridlock in Washington simply mirrors who we are and where America is.Four Decades of Declining Trust in D.C.
August 11, 2014
Now cities are largely on their own, as austerity and gridlock grip Washington.Can America’s Favorite Ex-Con Mayor Win Again?
June 22, 2014
The shock will soon congeal into fear-fueled groupthink and gridlock.Tea Party Cannibalizes Cantor
June 11, 2014
- 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
Word Origin and History for gridlock
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper