noun (1)
\ ˈkəl-di-ˌsak How to pronounce cul-de-sac (audio) , ˈku̇l-; ˌkəl-di-ˈsak, ˌku̇l- \
plural culs-de-sac\ ˈkəl(z)-​di-​ˌsak How to pronounce culs-de-sac (audio) , ˈku̇l(z)-​ ; ˌkəl(z)-​di-​ˈsak , ˌku̇l(z)-​ \ also cul-de-sacs\ ˈkəl-​di-​ˌsaks How to pronounce cul-de-sacs (audio) , ˈku̇l-​ ; ˌkəl-​di-​ˈsaks , ˌku̇l-​ \

Definition of cul-de-sac

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a blind diverticulum or pouch
2 : a street or passage closed at one end Our house is located on a quiet cul-de-sac.
3 : blind alley If your job is a cul-de-sac, you have to quit or accept the fact that your career is over.— Seth Godin


noun (2)
\ ¦kəldə̇¦fu̇(ə)r also ¦ku̇l-, F kᵫ̅dfüür \
plural culs-de-four\ " \

Definition of cul-de-four (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a vault shaped like a quarter sphere or like a hemisphere
2 : vault — compare semidome


noun (3)
\ ¦kəldə¦lamp also ¦ku̇l-, F kᵫ̅dlääⁿp \
plural culs-de-lampe\ " \

Definition of cul-de-lampe (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : any of various ornaments or parts resembling the conical bottom of ancient lamps (as a pendant from a roof or an isolated corbel supporting an oriel, column, or turret)

First Known Use of cul-de-sac

Noun (1)

1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cul-de-sac

Noun (1)

French, literally, bottom of the bag

Noun (2)

French, literally, bottom of an oven

Noun (3)

French, literally, lamp bottom

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Time Traveler for cul-de-sac

Time Traveler

The first known use of cul-de-sac was in 1738

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Statistics for cul-de-sac

Cite this Entry

“Cul-de-sac.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cul-de-sac


How to pronounce cul-de-lampe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cul-de-sac

: a street that is designed to connect to another street only at one end


\ ˈkəl-di-ˌsak, ˈku̇l-; ˌkəl-di-ˈ, ˌku̇l- How to pronounce cul-de-sac (audio) \
plural culs-de-sac\ ˈkəl(z)-​, ˈku̇l(z)-​, ˌkəl(z)-​, ˌku̇l(z)-​ How to pronounce culs-de-sac (audio) \ also cul-de-sacs\ -​ˌsaks, -​ˈsaks How to pronounce cul-de-sacs (audio) \

Medical Definition of cul-de-sac

1 : a blind diverticulum or pouch also : the closed end of such a pouch

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More from Merriam-Webster on cul-de-sac

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cul-de-sac

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cul-de-sac

Spanish Central: Translation of cul-de-sac

Nglish: Translation of cul-de-sac for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cul-de-sac

What made you want to look up cul-de-sac? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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