Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. noun A road that leads nowhere. I knew my GPS was wrong when it told me to turn onto a road that came to a dead end.
2. adjective Prohibitive of progress or advancement. (Sometimes hyphenated.) Jerry decided he couldn't spend another minute working at that dead end job with no possibility for a promotion. The police received a lot of dead-end leads, but nothing that led them to the killer.
1. A passage that has no exit, as in This street's a dead end, so turn back. [Late 1800s]
2. 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]
a dead end
COMMON You use dead end to talk about situation in which you cannot make any more progress. The signs are that their famously successful economic policy might be nearing a dead end. Do you feel you have reached a dead end at work? Note: You can use dead-end to describe a boring job or situation which will never lead to anything more interesting or successful. He was stuck in the same dead-end job for twenty years. Starting your own business is daunting but I was desperate to get out of what felt like a dead-end situation. Note: A dead end is a street which is closed at one end.