\ ˈded-ˌend How to pronounce dead-end (audio) \

Definition of dead-end

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : lacking opportunities especially for advancement a dead-end job
b : lacking an exit a dead-end street
2 : unruly dead-end kids


\ ˈded-ˈend How to pronounce dead-end (audio) \
dead-ended; dead-ending; dead-ends

Definition of dead-end (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to come to a dead end : terminate the road dead-ends at the lake the investigation dead-ended

dead end

\ ˈded-ˈend How to pronounce dead end (audio) \

Definition of dead end (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : an end (as of a street) without an exit
2 : a position, situation, or course of action that leads to nothing further

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Other Words from dead-end


dead-endedness \ ˌded-​ˈen-​dəd-​nəs How to pronounce dead-endedness (audio) \ noun

Examples of dead-end in a Sentence


We came to a dead end and had to turn around. My career has hit a dead end.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hill was captured at the scene Wednesday when Opelika police and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force responded to the dead end of Morgan Avenue and South Long Street after recognizing the location from the video. Howard Koplowitz |,, "Second suspect from viral Opelika kidnapping video caught," 12 July 2019 Harry develops theories of the case, pursues them, comes to a dead end, and then follows another thread that leads him to the next suspect. Rob Merrill, Dallas News, "Super sleuth Harry Hole is at his sharpest in Jo Nesbo's 'Knife'," 9 July 2019 After helping Newcastle finish 13th in the table last season, the Spaniard was in talks of renewing his expiring contract but any negotiations over a new deal soon came to a dead end., "Rafa Benitez Explains How May Meeting With Toon Hierarchy Made Leaving Magpies 'a Clear Decision'," 7 July 2019 If the chip scan leads shelter officials to a dead end, that dog is going to go up for adoption because of outdated information. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Keep your pets calm, safe Fourth of July with these tips for when the fireworks start," 2 July 2019 Unfortunately, this was just one more wild chase on the trail of false leads and, well, dead ends. Wendy Grossman Kantor,, "Who killed the Masked Marvel?," 27 June 2019 Start with a good haircut Get rid of dry, dead ends. Abigail Whittington, Good Housekeeping, "10 Ways to Tame and Get Rid of Frizzy Hair for Good," 27 June 2019 There are 149 public streets that end on waterfronts, and sometimes adjoining property owners have put up fences and landscaping at the dead ends. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "After 7-year battle, Lake City neighbors rejoice as Lake Washington dead end becomes a public beach," 24 June 2019 Kayla Jordan tried to avoid law enforcement by driving toward what turned out to be a dead end and then getting out of the car and running, deputies said. BUSTED! Tiffini Theisen,, "Woman stopped for illegal U-turn had loaded gun and magazines in car, methamphetamine in bra, Florida deputies say," 4 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dead-end.' 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 dead-end


1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1944, in the meaning defined above


1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near dead-end



dead end



deadening felt


Statistics for dead-end

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dead-end

The first known use of dead-end was in 1886

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More Definitions for dead-end

dead end


English Language Learners Definition of dead end

: a street that ends instead of joining with another street so that there is only one way in and out of it
: a situation, plan, or way of doing something that leads to nothing further

dead end


Kids Definition of dead end

: an end (as of a street) with no way out

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More from Merriam-Webster on dead-end

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dead-end

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dead-end

Spanish Central: Translation of dead-end

Nglish: Translation of dead-end for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dead-end

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characterized by aphorism

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