\ 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

Noun We came to a dead end and had to turn around. My career has hit a dead end.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The records read like a case study of frustration, full of seemingly promising leads that turned into dead ends. Peter Passi / Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Recently released records show random nature of Closs kidnapping made for tough case," 30 Dec. 2019 But like all things that have become social media favorites, after a while, stairs to nowhere can feel like a dead end. Washington Post, "Stairs to nowhere are everywhere these days. Where are they taking us?," 5 Oct. 2019 That said, a source familiar with the military service waiver request process suggested that Song’s efforts to pitch in the Red Sox organization may not have arrived at a dead end., "“They basically said that I was not supported by that policy — I wasn’t covered by it,” said Song. “The Naval Academy did not endorse my waiver.”," 18 Dec. 2019 This portion of what is now the Crosstown Trail used to dead end within Glen Park. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "A 17-Mile Hike to Unite San Francisco," 18 Nov. 2019 All problem solvers and problem inventors have had the experience of thinking, and then overthinking, themselves into a dead end. Dan Rockmore, The New Yorker, "The Myth and Magic of Generating New Ideas," 7 Nov. 2019 Facebook's most recent attempt to extricate itself from a potentially landmark lawsuit has come to a dead end, as a federal court declined to hear another appeal to stop the $35 billion class action. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Facebook must face $35B facial-recognition lawsuit following court ruling," 22 Oct. 2019 More must-read stories from Fortune: —WeWork IPO filing withdrawn as roadshow leads to a dead end—What’s the difference between a recession and a depression? Adrian Croft, Fortune, "The Ruling on a 15-Year Dispute Over Airplane Subsidies Is in and the Losers Are…Wine, Cheese and the Stock Market," 3 Oct. 2019 By Sunday, talks to rescue the business had run into a dead end. Richard Weiss,, "Thomas Cook’s Final Adventure Ends in Early-Morning Liquidation," 23 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for dead-end

Time Traveler

The first known use of dead-end was in 1886

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Statistics for dead-end

Cite this Entry

“Dead-end.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for dead-end

dead end

How to pronounce dead end (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dead-end

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dead-end

Spanish Central: Translation of dead-end

Nglish: Translation of dead-end for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dead-end

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to express in a more acceptable way

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