blind alley


Definition of blind alley

: a fruitless or mistaken course or direction

Examples of blind alley in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "AI Can Help Find Scientists Find a Covid-19 Vaccine," 28 Mar. 2020 Rather than chase a suspect into a blind alley, officers are encouraged to call for backup, set a perimeter, and make a plan before closing in. Douglas Starr, Science | AAAS, "Meet the psychologist exploring unconscious bias—and its tragic consequences for society," 26 Mar. 2020 Over-dribbling wastes time and sends ball handlers down blind alleys. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Archie Miller says idea IU can't shoot 3s is 'complete B.S.' The numbers say otherwise," 7 Jan. 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, "Can California Top Its Most Ironic Political Stories of 2019?," 3 Jan. 2020 Harry is drunk, despairing, lovesick and lost down blind alleys much of the time. Scott Timberg,, "Nordic noir master Jo Nesbø takes another dark twist with 'Knife'," 10 July 2019 One reason for this is that the new progressives seem to be determined to drive down the intellectual blind alley of identity politics. The Economist, "The centre cannot hold - the failure of Change UK and the atrophying of political thought," 19 June 2019 The central issue explored by director Laura Brownson —and the one that probably got her started up this sociological blind alley—is about self-definition and identity politics. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘The Rachel Divide’ Review: Racial Profiling," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blind alley.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of blind alley

1860, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for blind alley

Time Traveler

The first known use of blind alley was in 1860

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Cite this Entry

“Blind alley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for blind alley

blind alley


English Language Learners Definition of blind alley

: a narrow path between two buildings that can only be entered at one end

More from Merriam-Webster on blind alley

Nglish: Translation of blind alley for Spanish Speakers

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