blind alley, (up) a

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