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impasse

[im-pas, im-pas] /ˈɪm pæs, ɪmˈpæs/
noun
1.
a position or situation from which there is no escape; deadlock.
2.
a road or way that has no outlet; cul-de-sac.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55; < French, equivalent to im- im-2 + -passe, stem of passer to pass
Synonyms
1. stalemate, standstill, standoff, dead end.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for imp-asse

impasse

/æmˈpɑːs; ˈæmpɑːs; ɪmˈpɑːs; ˈɪmpɑːs/
noun
1.
a situation in which progress is blocked; an insurmountable difficulty; stalemate; deadlock
Word Origin
C19: from French; see im-, pass
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for imp-asse

impasse

n.

1851, "blind alley," from French impasse "impassable road, blind alley, impasse," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Middle French passe "a passing," from passer "to pass" (see pass (v.)). Supposedly coined by Voltaire as a euphemism for cul de sac. Figurative use also from 1851.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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