\ 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 Kosey said if the board approves the lease, the lot, where Kensington Road dead ends west of Jorie Boulevard, would remain gravel, at least for now. Chuck Fieldman,, "Oak Brook Park District looks to lease parking lot from village for use with former McDonald’s property," 7 Nov. 2019 Steven Enoch, a Connecticut guy who had always wanted to play at UConn, saw a dead end in development and playing time and left, landing at Louisville. Dom Amore,, "No one has transferred off the UConn men in 30 months. Here’s why Dan Hurley’s Huskies have found roster stability in an era with so much movement.," 5 Nov. 2019 And Memo and his team kept running into dead ends for days. National Geographic, "Episode 4: Cave of the Jaguar God," 5 Nov. 2019 If so, capitalism alone, without the moderating influence of those values, could reach its own historical dead end. The Economist, "A scholar of inequality ponders the future of capitalism," 2 Nov. 2019 There was only one correct path through the maze, which required five changes in direction and included three dead ends. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Crabs Can Learn to Navigate Mazes, Too," 1 Nov. 2019 Without any witnesses, the investigation has so far only yielded theories and dead ends. Fox News, "5 Oregon bulls mutilated on ranch with sex organs, tongues missing in suspected ‘occult’ ritual: officials," 4 Oct. 2019 Others have gone so far as to hire private investigators to locate illicit suppliers, but find dead ends. Washington Post, "Only on AP: Popular pot vape gets makeover to counter fakes," 17 Sep. 2019 Rivers had driven his team into scoring range late in the fourth quarter, when two miscues spelled dead end. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Mistake-filled Chargers loss seems oh-so-familiar," 15 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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Statistics for dead-end

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

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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