blind alley


: a fruitless or mistaken course or direction

Examples of blind alley in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sometimes a baseball game is like a blind alley. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 5 June 2022 In the new show, the characters’ lives unfold as if set in a maze with nothing but one blind alley after another, leaving them to wrestle with lingering burdens (drug addiction, a dead-weight ex, a criminal record) and without an obvious way out. Susan Dominus Photographs By Joshua Kissi Styled By Ian Bradley Sasha Weiss Photographs By Collier Schorr Styled By Jay Massacret Megan O’Grady Portrait By Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont Ligaya Mishan Photographs By Tina Barney, New York Times, 14 Oct. 2021 Bastian’s counterparts at American and United airlines – Doug Parker and Scott Kirby, respectively - voluntarily have led their carriers down the same rhetorical blind alley. Dan Reed, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 Learning about work at another lab can save months or even years of work by moving past a blind alley, avoiding re-inventing the wheel, or suggesting a shortcut. Oren Etzioni, Wired, 28 Mar. 2020 That sort of magical thinking led Google (to take just one example) into a blind alley in which rank-and-file employees began to act as if they’d been hired to direct the business. Will Swaim, National Review, 3 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blind alley.' 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

1860, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of blind alley was in 1860

Dictionary Entries Near blind alley

Cite this Entry

“Blind alley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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