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dead end

noun
1.
something, as a street or water pipe, that has no exit.
2.
a position that offers no hope of progress; blind alley; cul-de-sac:
His theory led him to a dead end.
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90

dead-end

[ded-end] /ˈdɛdˈɛnd/
adjective
1.
terminating in a dead end:
a dead-end street.
2.
Also, dead-ended. having no possibility for or hope of progress, advancement, etc.:
a low-level, dead-end job.
3.
leading a life in the slums:
growing up as a tough dead-end kid.
verb (used without object)
4.
to come to a dead end:
The road dead-ends at the lake.
Origin
1885-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dead end
  • By all rights, this animal seems to be an evolutionary dead end.
  • Scientists began to view dinosaurs as an evolutionary dead end.
  • What's more, your dead end may be another scientist's missing link, the elusive chunk of data they needed.
  • Some geneticists believe that desperation is leading him to a dead end.
  • They were far too costly to be sustained, and at the end of the ten-year program they had reached a dead end.
  • His house was nestled in the dead end behind our school.
  • Thinking she was handing me the key to my lost past, she instead shunted me to a meaningless dead end.
  • We filled our tank, headed off again-and came to an abrupt dead end at the ocean.
  • They spend all this time and energy trying to perfect corn, and it is a dead end for producing fuel.
  • He realized that parliamentary democracy must be defended against violent protest that had become a dead end.
British Dictionary definitions for dead end

dead end

noun
1.
another name for cul-de-sac
2.
a situation in which further progress is impossible
3.
dead-end. (as modifier): a dead-end street, a dead-end job
verb
4.
(intransitive) (mainly US & Canadian) to come to a dead end
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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Word Origin and History for dead end
n.

"closed end of a passage," 1886, from dead (adj.) + end (n.). Figurative use is attested from 1922. As an adjective, from 1928; as a verb, from 1921. Related: Deadender (by 1996).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with dead end

dead end

.
A passage that has no exit, as in This street's a dead end, so turn back. [ Late 1800s ]
.
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 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for dead end

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dead

6
6
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