blind alley, (up) a

a blind alley

A path or course of action 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

up a blind alley

At an impasse; at a point where no more progress is possible or no solution can be found. I've gone around and around with various ways to fix this, but I'm just up a blind alley at this point. This merger is going to be up a blind alley if we can't resolve this legal dispute.
See also: alley, blind, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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