Mexican standoff


: a situation in which no one emerges a clear winner
also : deadlock

Examples of Mexican standoff in a Sentence

in the battle over bedtime the parents and their son are at a Mexican standoff
Recent Examples on the Web This is going to be a Mexican standoff relationship. Nick Romano,, 20 Oct. 2022 Ahmet Şık, a former journalist and an opposition MP, likened the situation to a Mexican standoff, a confrontation in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory. Guney Yildiz, Forbes, 24 May 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Mexican standoff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1876, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Mexican standoff was in 1876

Dictionary Entries Near Mexican standoff

Cite this Entry

“Mexican standoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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