Definition of dead end in English:

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dead end

Pronunciation: /ˈded ˈend/


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.


[no object] (dead-end)
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dead end

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