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1. noun The end of a road, path, or other passage that does not have an exit or other passages attached to it. I knew my GPS was wrong when it told me to turn onto a road that came to a dead end.
2. noun By extension, a situation in which no more progress or advancement is possible. I'm afraid we've come to a dead end in our investigation.
3. adjective Prohibitive of or offering no possibility for 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.
4. verb To end in a way that prevents any possibility of further progress or advancement. Often hyphenated. This street dead-ends up ahead, so we'll have to turn around.
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.