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 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 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, 26 Mar. 2020 Over-dribbling wastes time and sends ball handlers down blind alleys. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, 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, 3 Jan. 2020 Harry is drunk, despairing, lovesick and lost down blind alleys much of the time. Scott Timberg,, 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, 19 June 2019 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near blind alley


blind alley

blind area

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Statistics for blind alley

Cite this Entry

“Blind alley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on blind alley

Nglish: Translation of blind alley for Spanish Speakers


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