|a. a race or contest in which two or more participants tie for first place|
|b. a tie between two or more contestants in any position|
A contest in which the competitors are equally matched and neither can win; a tie. For example, The two companies are in a dead heat to get a new personal computer on the market. This term comes from 18th-century British horse racing and is still part of racing terminology. It later was transferred to other kinds of competition.