dead-end

adjective
\ 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

dead-end

verb
\ 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

noun
\ 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

Adjective

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

Now Eisenberg’s thinking of recruiting others to tackle the city’s roads to nowhere — by leading a Sierra Club walk expressly dedicated to the dead ends. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Newly minted septuagenarian sets out to walk every street in Glendale," 16 July 2019 The 'tomb of the angel' search for a teen missing since 1983 hit a dead end at the Vatican. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Census citizenship question, Iran tensions & teachers working overtime: The Morning Rundown," 11 July 2019 The Secret Service and Gilford police tailed him until Vallee hit a dead end. Stephanie Clifford, WIRED, "He Cyberstalked Teen Girls for Years—Then They Fought Back," 24 June 2019 The four bills are headed for a dead end just as GOP lawmakers enter the final stages of writing a state budget that dramatically differs from Evers' spending plans. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Senate sends Gov. Tony Evers abortion legislation he has promised to veto," 5 June 2019 Such rulings do not mean that the Trump administration’s efforts have reached a dead end. Robert Pear, New York Times, "A Fatal Flaw as Trump Tries to Remake Health Care: Shortcuts," 7 July 2018 My search for him felt like a maze, every turn a dead end. Ted Jackson, NOLA.com, "The search for Jackie Wallace," 3 Feb. 2018 Henning and Birch were a couple of dead end kids, pulling burglaries for drug money when the events that ended in their convictions began in late November 1985. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "More than three decades later, troubling questions and contradictions remain about two murder convictions and the role of forensic scientist Henry Lee," 23 July 2019 Over the course of 25 years, the investigation hit countless dead ends. Antonia Noori Farzan, The Denver Post, "Missouri 9-year-old’s murder went unsolved for 25 years; killer may have been hiding in plain sight before being arrested in Colorado," 6 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

Adjective

1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1944, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Learn More about dead-end

Dictionary Entries near dead-end

dead duck

deaded

deaden

dead-end

dead end

deadening

deadening felt

Statistics for dead-end

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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

noun

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

noun

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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