\ 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 Right or wrong, the toppling of three bronze sculptures last week in Golden Gate Park underscored a blunt fact: The age of heroic statuary has reached a dead end. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: Are we already in a second wave?," 26 June 2020 Authorities made the discovery in October but are now appealing to the public for help after an investigation into the origin of the gold bars hit a dead end. Fox News, "Swiss authorities seek owner of $190K worth of gold bars left on train," 17 June 2020 The plotlines tend to follow wherever the clues seem to lead, which is sometimes a meandering journey or a dead end. The Editors, Outside Online, "Everything Our Editors Loved in May," 9 June 2020 The motive of this experiment was to study how the bacteria would behave when facing a dead end. Sophia Chen, Wired, "These Bacteria Ate Their Way Through a Really Tricky Maze," 9 June 2020 But questions about medical supplies lead to a dead end. Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY, "Aftershock: If coronavirus swells in a second wave later this year, will the nation be ready?," 17 May 2020 As this week unfolds, avoid making changes, new starts or key decisions, because what appears to be the right direction could lead to a dead end. oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 19, 2020: Happy birthday Kate Hudson; Capricorn, avoid making changes this week," 19 Apr. 2020 Without any staff or a running computer system to take in orders or payments, the Trostels were stuck at a dead end. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Anonymous donor gives every household in an Iowa town $150 in gift cards for food," 10 Apr. 2020 The two suspected shooters were waiting for their victims at the dead end of Johnson Road near Ovid Street around 10:40 p.m., according to Houston Police Department Lt. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "2 killed in Houston’s First Ward, search on for gunmen," 2 Mar. 2020

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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 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

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