Definition of dead end in English:

dead end


  • 1An end of a road or passage from which no exit is possible.

    ‘the path came to a dead end’
    • ‘I ran though two large doors and came to a dead end.’
    • ‘He quickly turned corners without thinking; and once or twice came to a dead end since everything he remembered to guide from was either gone or too burnt to recognize.’
    • ‘We went back to our bikes and rode on down the road to investigate further, but came to a dead end at a factory.’
    • ‘Instead of a home for architecture such as it knew when tradition ruled, each exit leads to a dead end.’
    • ‘He stated that whenever he came to a dead end, he retraced his steps and marked the entrance to that path, so that he would know which one not to take.’
    • ‘At the end of the passageway we came to a dead end with what looked like a huge rock blocking the way.’
    • ‘The three kept following the string until they came to a dead end’
    • ‘The corridor came to a dead end a few meters past it.’
    • ‘The road, having become steadily narrower, came to a dead-end right by the visitor's centre at the Gibraltar Point nature reserve.’
    • ‘They came across many obstacles and dead ends, but no exit could be found.’
    • ‘The road came to a dead end, and I stopped inches from the trunk of a tree, tires on the edge of the curb.’
    • ‘She finally came to a dead end and turned to face the girls.’
    • ‘Roughly four miles beyond Staveley, and fed only by one road that reaches a dead end, it's not a place to pass through - people only come to Kentmere if they mean to spend some time here.’
    • ‘Three more turns, and the tunnel came to a dead end.’
    • ‘As she said it, the hall looked like it came to a dead end.’
    • ‘He had them cornered as the alley came to a dead end.’
    • ‘Let's take another trip down Memory Lane and see the dead end Brock drove the company to.’
    • ‘After a maze of meandering caverns, Shadow came to a dead end.’
    • ‘He turned into a thin alleyway and came to a dead end.’
    • ‘There is only one entrance and exit, no dead ends, and no crossing of paths with a choice of which way to turn.’
    rut, routine, boring routine, habit, dead end, humdrum existence, same old round, grind, daily grind, treadmill
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    1. 1.1 A road or passage from which no exit is possible.
      ‘Not that way! It's a dead end!’
      • ‘I drove down the road to an empty dead-end street with brush and overgrowth all over the place, not a building in sight.’
      • ‘Holly went to drop her bags off at her house, which was all the way at the end of our dead-end street, and I went up to my room.’
      • ‘It seemed like every road on Kauai was a dead end, whether a sign announced it or not.’
      • ‘If you think you are being followed, take three left turns, one after the other (take care not to drive down a dead end).’
      • ‘On top of all that, if you want to drive anywhere other than major grocery stores and campus, you'll have to master the city's crooked one-way streets and bizarre dead ends.’
      • ‘Taking an intricate short cut through back alleys and abandoned buildings, she came out onto an empty, dead-end road.’
      • ‘Most Thorndon side roads are dead ends, narrower than varicose veins and have a topography that even a goat would baulk at.’
      • ‘Gone though is the cesspool of 60's New York, replaced by crepuscular English side streets, dead ends and tea rooms.’
      • ‘A second man drove the car - which had been parked outside the nearby Pizza Express restaurant - across John Dalton Street and on to Mulberry Street, a dead end.’
      • ‘Kooun had too many streets and too many dead ends that one could end up in.’
      • ‘There are narrow alleys, sharp corners, open courtyards, one-way streets, even dead ends.’
      • ‘A short distance more, and the rider stopped, shutting down the engine - the street became a dead end.’
      • ‘Part of the reason for the lack of traffic is that the road is a dead end.’
      no through road, blind alley, cul-de-sac
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    2. 1.2 A situation offering no prospects of progress or development.
      ‘their relationship had reached a dead end’
      as modifier ‘a dead-end street’
      • ‘If you hit a dead end, the National Drug and Treatment Referral Routing Service offers a list of treatment services in your community.’
      • ‘Just as it had done in the direction of the pawnshop, the investigation came to a dead end everyplace else.’
      • ‘They trade one dead-end situation for another, arriving in Chicago only to learn that their husband-father has abandoned them and that they must immediately go on welfare.’
      • ‘In spite of the numbing silence of intellectuals of recent years, there are signs that the Arab world is beginning to break out of the vicious dead-end cycle.’
      • ‘In the '90s, after dropping out of university, Burke, now 35, had ended up in a typical dead-end factory job making printer cartridges.’
      • ‘He sees that she's talented, that she's a special person trying to escape her dead-end life.’
      • ‘Her current dead-end relationship and job in tow, Sharon begins to study.’
      • ‘But the women find themselves at a dead end because the avenues open to their male counterparts are denied to them.’
      • ‘The problem with Java being an evolutionary dead end is that it implies there isn't anywhere we can go with Java -- that 10 years from now, it's not really going to be much better than it is today.’
      • ‘"The process of negotiation did not just enter a dead end, but was driven into one," he said in an interview.’
      • ‘I'm still stuck at the same dead-end job making minimum wage.’
      • ‘This longing usually takes over when they feel constrained or trapped in a situation such as a dead-end job, an unhappy marriage, or have settled into a routine that hints of boredom.’
      • ‘Slacker Jeff (played with an enviable edge by Chris Fassbender) is slowly going mad in a dead-end job and can't be bothered to attend more than one class at a local community college.’
      • ‘Desperation is the key factor; each character wants to break out of their dead-end situation, but in the end they always opt to hold on.’
      • ‘Success will be measured by how well concepts with potential are distinguished from intellectual dead-ends.’
      • ‘After a long search leading to nothing but dead-ends, there finally was a chance to get some solid answers.’
      • ‘The allegations triggered an investigation by the Financial Intelligence Bureau in Bulgaria, which came to a dead end.’
      • ‘The script largely rejects sentimentality and the villains and victims, such as they are, are believable, driven by economic necessity and the possibility of escaping dead-end lives.’
      • ‘Employees with management ambitions have long seen night work as a professional dead end.’
      • ‘He makes his living servicing pachinko machines - unchallenging, dead-end work that Hiroki enjoys purely because it allows him to work alone late at night.’
      impasse, deadlock, stalemate, checkmate, stand-off
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[no object]North American
  • (of a road or passage) come to a dead end.

    ‘he kept walking, until the corridor dead-ended’
    • ‘I know that there was a road there with a sign, that dead-ended 2.4 miles down.’
    • ‘But of course there was a family errand, one whose reality greeted us the instant the country road dead-ended into the highway running south.’
    • ‘The road turns from potholed concrete to sand before dead-ending at a line of cherry trees that seems to stretch for miles.’
    • ‘The grassy road curved its descent to the left down a hillside, then dead-ended at another that crossed their path.’
    • ‘Thankfully, the misguided side road dead-ends here.’
    • ‘Using a remote control, the viewer guides a small, wireless vehicle over the track's dips and curves until it dead-ends in two small domes housing trash bins.’
    • ‘For a real workout, take The Waimoku Challenge, a rugged four-mile trek, up through quiet jungles and bamboo forests, that dead-ends at a thundering 400-foot cascade of water.’
    • ‘Half a mile further the road dead-ended at the bay - again.’
    • ‘The road dead-ended at the park, and I slowed down still more, teasing myself a little.’
    • ‘From Panama City there is only one road, the Pan-American Highway, which dead-ends in Yaviza.’
    • ‘Several times we pulled off on rough roads, only to find that they dead-ended at tin shacks.’
    • ‘The new lane dead ends at a concrete headwall.’
    • ‘Since it was Veterans Day, there was also a parade down Congress Avenue, over the so-called Town River (the Colorado) and on to the Capitol, where the street dead-ended.’
    • ‘East of Ghent, CR8 began to dogleg north and south and eventually dead-ended at a swamp.’
    • ‘Our drag racer finds a rather abrupt end to his fun, as the street he is on dead ends while the tracks continue ahead.’


dead end

/ˌdɛd ˈɛnd/