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at an impasse

At a point or problem that is insurmountable or from which there is no possible exit, progress, or negotiation. After hours of bitter debate, the two parties were at an impasse, and the discussion was left for the following day.
See also: impasse

come to an impasse

Fig. to reach a deadlock, stalemate, etc., in a situation. (Alludes to a blocked roadway.) The committee has come to an impasse in its deliberations.
See also: come, impasse

reach an impasse

to progress to the point that a barrier stops further progress. When negotiations with management reached an impasse, the union went on strike. The discussion reached an impasse and no one was able to propose a compromise.
See also: impasse, reach
References in periodicals archive ?
Even if the parties have reached an impasse, Key says he would continue negotiations.
The Opposition parties blame the government for the impasse.
O'Brien "illegally" declared an impasse in the negotiations.
The impasse in the peace process is sending the Middle East back "into the darkness," Jordan's King Abdullah II said in an interview with an Israeli newspaper, parts of which were published on Thursday.
Once an impasse is declared, the two sides are governed by the Employee Relations Board, which could bring in a mediator to try to resolve the differences or even bring in a fact finder, who would have broad powers to force a settlement.
Constance FitzGerald appealed to John of the Cross and her Carmelite tradition to suggest that one can get beyond impasses by way of Christian mysticism and its method of purification of memory.
After the impasse notice is given, both sides will have seven days to submit their final offers, a step that's followed by a 30-day cooling-off period.
There are a series of governance issues which unless they are resolved will lead to impasse.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told media in Washington yesterday she is confident that ATC personnel will continue to perform at a high level despite the current impasse over a new labor agreement and that a slowdown or an organized spate of early retirements is "not realistic.
The Negotiating Committee for the pilots of World Airways has reached an impasse in the latest meeting with the company.
Crucible for Change: Engaging Impasse through Communal Contemplation and Dialogue.
The idea of creating art from an impasse is by nature paradoxical, the work of inaction itself an action, although the final accomplishment--the "I'll go on"--is not necessarily cause to celebrate, not a Hollywood over-coming-the-obstacles story, but just a fact of existence.
How can the impasse in the agricultural sector be resolved?
Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Haitian authorities they risk losing support from hemisphere countries later this year if they failed to heed calls by the Organization of American States to facilitate new elections to resolve the country's political impasse, reports VOA News (June 10, 2003):
It is a narcissistic involution of the old idea of "melancholy" or "loss" in art or art criticism, which so often goes hand in hand with po-mo theories, leading to a kind of impasse.