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blind alley

a road, alley, etc., that is open at only one end.
a position or situation offering no hope of progress or improvement:
That line of reasoning will only lead you up another blind alley.
Origin of blind alley
1575-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blind-alley
Historical Examples
  • Just across the passage was a long, blind-alley effect running under the stairs, which was used as a store for waste paper.

    The Loom of Youth Alec Waugh
  • It ends in a blind-alley, less than a twelfth of an inch from the surface of the wood.

  • This leads on to the second stage, the “blind-alley” occupation or the skilled trade where there is no real training.

    Boy Labour and Apprenticeship Reginald Arthur Bray
  • A blind-alley theme, as its name imports, is one from which there is no exit.

    Play-Making William Archer
  • blind-alley” occupations and troubled passage to manhood necessarily go together.

    Boy Labour and Apprenticeship Reginald Arthur Bray
  • The second glaring instance of a blind-alley theme is that of Monna Vanna.

    Play-Making William Archer
  • The "blind-alley" job should be plainly labeled, that it may not catch the girl unaware.

    Vocational Guidance for Girls Marguerite Stockman Dickson
  • It was a kind of blind-alley, the end of which widened into a small, neat courtyard.

  • It darted around the blind-alley shelf and was back a moment later.

    Space Prison Tom Godwin
  • The author casts one brief glance down that blind-alley marked "Element Way."

    Science and Morals and Other Essays Bertram Coghill Alan Windle
British Dictionary definitions for blind-alley

blind alley

an alley open at one end only; cul-de-sac
(informal) a situation in which no further progress can be made
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with blind-alley

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 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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