Share this entry

Share this page

dead end

Syllabification: dead end

Definition of dead end in English:

noun

1An end of a road or passage from which no exit is possible; a cul-de-sac: the path came to a dead end
More example sentences
  • The road, having become steadily narrower, came to a dead-end right by the visitor's centre at the Gibraltar Point nature reserve.
  • The road came to a dead end, and I stopped inches from the trunk of a tree, tires on the edge of the curb.
  • We went back to our bikes and rode on down the road to investigate further, but came to a dead end at a factory.
1.1A road or passage having a dead end.
Example sentences
  • I drove down the road to an empty dead-end street with brush and overgrowth all over the place, not a building in sight.
  • Holly went to drop her bags off at her house, which was all the way at the end of our dead-end street, and I went up to my room.
  • Most Thorndon side roads are dead ends, narrower than varicose veins and have a topography that even a goat would baulk at.
1.2A situation offering no prospects of progress or development: [as modifier]: a dead-end job
More example sentences
  • This longing usually takes over when they feel constrained or trapped in a situation such as a dead-end job, an unhappy marriage, or have settled into a routine that hints of boredom.
  • Desperation is the key factor; each character wants to break out of their dead-end situation, but in the end they always opt to hold on.
  • Slacker Jeff (played with an enviable edge by Chris Fassbender) is slowly going mad in a dead-end job and can't be bothered to attend more than one class at a local community college.

verb

[no object] (dead-end) Back to top  
North American (Of a road or passage) come to a dead end: he kept walking, until the corridor dead-ended
More example sentences
  • But of course there was a family errand, one whose reality greeted us the instant the country road dead-ended into the highway running south.
  • Thankfully, the misguided side road dead-ends here.
  • Since it was Veterans Day, there was also a parade down Congress Avenue, over the so-called Town River (the Colorado) and on to the Capitol, where the street dead-ended.

Definition of dead end in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈʃprɑːxɡəˌfuːl
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…