dead end


dead end


  • a position or job with no hope of progress; a blind alley.
  • a street, corridor, road, pipe, etc., that has no exit.
  • a situation in which any progress is not possible.
  • the situation or project with no prospects of improvement.

Example Sentences

  1. The interlocutors have reached a dead end in their efforts to discover a peaceful solution to the imbroglio.
  2. In spite of the scientist’s efforts, the research leads to a dead end.
  3. This narrow passage dead ends at the park.
  4. The burger shop is at the border of the village on a dead-end street.
  5. We reached a dead end and had to go back.
  6. Rose understood that her relationship with Jose had hit a dead end.


Although the term “dead end” originally came into existence around 1850, its figurative meaning began to emerge in the early 1900s.

In 1851, when referring to drainpipes, the term was used to describe the closed end of a drainpipe. In 1874, it was used to describe closed railway lines. The expression was first used to refer to the closed end of a street in 1886.

The expression first appeared figuratively in 1914 and refers to a course of action that leads nowhere.

In the US, “Dead End” street signs are also commonly seen, along with “No Outlet,” “No Exit,” “Not a Through Street,” and simply “End.”


  • a dead end
  • hit a dead end.
  • lead to a dead end.
  • reach a dead end.
  • dead-end job

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