\ 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

Other Words from dead-end


dead-endedness \ ˌded-​ˈen-​dəd-​nəs How to pronounce dead-end (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 Each time someone has tried to crack the code, it's led to a dead end. Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY, 21 July 2022 After a 90-degree turn over a box-girder bridge, this optional diversion runs six miles up a side canyon to another dead end. Dan Edmunds, Car and Driver, 29 Apr. 2022 In the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue, Watkins and his co-authors made a persuasive case that Crivelli’s often weird and gnarly works should not be seen, as Berenson saw them, as a creative dead end. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 9 June 2022 Did the United States lead Ukraine down a dead end? Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 25 Feb. 2022 Much like his aspiration of entering the operating room, Segura hit a dead end in his career as a rapper. Derek Scancarelli, Forbes, 15 June 2022 His government hosted initial rounds of diplomatic talks between Moscow and Kyiv, but those discussions appear to have hit a dead end even as the war bogs down. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 There was only the dead end of the commune, or the default of the corporation. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Republic, 14 June 2022 Only a tiny sprinkling of upscale houses break up the forest along Prattling Pond Road, a dead end. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 13 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near dead-end

dead end



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Cite this Entry

“Dead-end.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dead-end

dead end


Kids Definition of dead end

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

More from Merriam-Webster on dead-end

Nglish: Translation of dead-end for Spanish Speakers


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