- an end of a street, alley, etc. that has no regular exit
- a situation from which there seems no way to escape, move forward, etc.; an impasse
- having only one exit or outlet: a dead-end street
- giving no opportunity for progress or advancement: a dead-end job
Origin of dead-endafter Dead End, a play (1935) by Sidney Kingsley about New York slum lifeInformal of or characteristic of slums or slum life
- to terminate in a dead end: said as of a street
- to reach or come to a dead end: to dead-end in a middle management position
- a. An end of a passage, especially a street, that affords no exit.b. A street or road affording no exit.
- A situation or subject that allows for no progress or development.
- Having no exit except for going back the way one came.
- Permitting no opportunity for progress or advancement: a dead-end job.
- Informal Tough and rowdy: a dead-end gang.
intransitive verbdead-end·ed, dead-end·ing, dead-ends
(plural dead ends)
(comparative more dead-end, superlative most dead-end)
(third-person singular simple present dead-ends, present participle dead-ending, simple past and past participle dead-ended)
- (US) To come to a dead-end
- Watch out! The road dead-ends in 200 yards and there's nowhere to turn around!
- The end of a road, (by extension), the end of any event.
- We turned into the street and realised it was a dead-end.
- Mary realised her relationship with Jim had hit a dead-end.
- She opened the only door in the dead-end hallway with a wave of her armband.
- "Heaven's where cats don't shed and the Red Sox win in October—not a dead-end job and money problems," Fred offered.