a blind alley

a blind alley

A metaphorical path that leads nowhere; a dead end. After spending years trying to prove his hypothesis but failing to get the results he had hoped for, the physicist feared that he had wasted too much time heading down a blind alley.
See also: alley, blind

blind alley

A dead end; a position without hope of progress or success. For example, That line of questioning led the attorney up yet another blind alley. This term alludes to a street or alley that has no outlet at one end. [Mid-1800s]
See also: alley, blind

a blind alley

COMMON A blind alley is a way of acting or thinking that is not effective and will not achieve progress. Sooner or later they will have to realize that this is a blind alley and that they need to rethink their own strategies. Did she regard teaching as a blind alley? Note: A blind alley is a street which is closed at one end.
See also: alley, blind

a blind alley

a course of action that does not deliver any positive results.
1997 New Scientist The next person looking for the same information has to go through the process all over again—even if 1000 people have already been up the same blind alleys.
See also: alley, blind

a ˌblind ˈalley

a course of action which has no useful result in the end: Our first experiment was a blind alley, but the second one gave us very promising results.
A blind alley is a narrow passage that is closed at one end.
See also: alley, blind

blind alley, (up) a

A dead end, either literally (a street or passage with only one entrance) or figuratively (a situation without hope of progress). The term dates from the sixteenth century.
See also: blind
References in classic literature ?
"Her father shall pay me for it doubly: with his purse and with his life." With that thought in his heart, Richard Turlington wound his way through the streets by the river-side, and stopped at a blind alley called Green Anchor Lane, infamous to this day as the chosen resort of the most abandoned wretches whom London can produce.
Offenders against the revenue laws, and defaulters to excise or customs who had incurred fines which they were unable to pay, were supposed to be incarcerated behind an iron-plated door closing up a second prison, consisting of a strong cell or two, and a blind alley some yard and a half wide, which formed the mysterious termination of the very limited skittle-ground in which the Marshalsea debtors bowled down their troubles.
LAHORE -- Deputy Chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Liaqat Baloch, has said that the PTI government was pushing the country's economy into a blind alley by accepting all the terms of the IMF.
Addressing a press conference here Tuesday, he said PTI chief was pushing his party to a blind alley.
As a consequence Nawaz Sharif had also walked into a blind alley of his own.
In the song Boniadi raps, "This ain't no road to freedom / It's a blind alley, like Kirstie Alley / Travolta, and Cruise, but we ain't no fools," the Huffington Post reported.
Adam Smith, of Kirkcaldy, pointed out in 1776 that we all benefit from free trade and that, by inference, protectionism is a blind alley.
Birmingham Mail BUNGLING would-be robbers thwarted in their bid to raid a bookmakers in Birmingham fled down a blind alley.
a one way street as if some accident has thrown him into a blind alley
They sped into a blind alley, narrowly missing pedestrians and hitting three parked cars, said witnesses.
And with tax cuts, tough talk on immigration and ranting about Europe, he's heading up a blind alley. Cameron's retreating to a traditional Tory platform with a green tinge.
The French fly-half led the Welsh region down a blind alley as they suffered their fourth defeat in six matches after a dreadful second-half display.
The Government's own advisors have since admitted that the research led up a blind alley.
When I spoke out honestly and said what I thought, I was able to drive him into a blind alley. But as soon as I began to play the hypocrite, he immediately sensed this and took the upper hand.'
Along the way, the development of ideas often takes a wrong turn down a blind alley. One such detour happened in the 17th century.