dead end

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dead end

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.
See also: dead, end
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dead end

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]
See also: dead, end
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 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.
See also: dead, end
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a dead ˈend

(informal) a point where no more progress can be made: Lack of further clues meant that the murder investigation came to a dead end.He was in a dead-end job with no hope of promotion.
See also: dead, end
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Have you ever encountered a dead end while driving your car?
He calls that a "Cul-de-Sac," otherwise known as a "Dead End" or, in its original French meaning, the bottom of the bag.
The manipulation that lies at the heart of his practice--of sources, the gallery space, and the viewer--is ultimately, however, an inclusive strategy, balancing dead ends with freewheeling associations, our ability to see beyond the intended message with our willingness to invent our own stories from the material.
Because 95 percent of ammonites had beautifully coiled bodies, paleontologists have traditionally considered the uncoiled forms as evolutionary dead ends that could not compete well, says Zinsmeister.
Imagine traversing a giant maze whose sharp turns and dead ends affect not your feet but your head, whose quirky narrow spots bring the wall to within inches of your face.
Compared to physical waves, chemical waves have some odd properties: They move at a constant speed, skirt barriers without breaking up, and vanish at dead ends.
One realizes that Greene has handled the underpainting to provide for occurrences of continuity as well as discontinuity, and that he has located the openings in his top coat so as to allow the viewer to encounter connected paths as well as dead ends and completely isolated and sometimes seemingly out-of-place passages.
In the world of behavioral research, they call this kind of confidence "perceived self-efficacy,' and the roads leading to it have many twists and turns, even dead ends.
Despite th many linear and circular elements in Salt Transfer Cycle, Joo offers no real lines or circles, no true continuity, merely a tangle of loose ends and seeming dead ends that if tipped off balance (like the aluminum rods) could prove toxic
This seeming dead end led him to study the then newly identified interferon molecules, which are produced by immune-system cells.