a state in which progress is impossible, as in a dispute, produced by the counteraction of opposing forces; standstill; stalemate: The union and management reached a deadlock over fringe benefits.
a maximum-security cell for the solitary confinement of a prisoner.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to bring or come to a deadlock.

1770–80; dead + lock1

undeadlocked, adjective

1. standoff, impasse, draw. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
deadlock (ˈdɛdˌlɒk)
1.  a state of affairs in which further action between two opposing forces is impossible; stalemate
2.  a tie between opposite sides in a contest
3.  a lock having a bolt that can be opened only with a key
4.  to bring or come to a deadlock

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"complete standstill," first attested 1779 in Sheridan's play "The Critic."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

deadlock definition

parallel, programming
A situation where two or more processes are unable to proceed because each is waiting for one of the others to do something.
A common example is a program waiting for output from a server while the server is waiting for more input from the controlling program before outputting anything. It is reported that this particular flavour of deadlock is sometimes called a "starvation deadlock", though the term "starvation" is more properly used for situations where a program can never run simply because it never gets high enough priority.
Another common flavour is "constipation", in which each process is trying to send stuff to the other but all buffers are full because nobody is reading anything). See deadly embrace.
Another example, common in database programming, is two processes that are sharing some resource (e.g. read access to a table) but then both decide to wait for exclusive (e.g. write) access.
The term "deadly embrace" is mostly synonymous, though usually used only when exactly two processes are involved. This is the more popular term in Europe, while deadlock predominates in the United States.
Compare: livelock. See also safety property, liveness property.
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
And the longer the deadlock continues, the crazier people get.
In any case, health legislation is currently stalled by a bitter political
But the political deadlock means economic deadlock too.
Incremental progress is possible, but continued deadlock is likelier.
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