deadlock

Use the noun deadlock to describe a standstill, as when two people or sides cannot move beyond a disagreement.

Deadlock can also mean a game that results in an unbreakable tie or a stalemate, like when you are in a five-hour thumb-wrestling match with no winner. You can easily remember the meaning of this compound word, by thinking about its two word parts — dead + lock. The first appearance of deadlock was in The Critic, a play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan: “I have them all at a deadlock, for every one of them is afraid to let go first.”

Definitions of deadlock
  1. noun
    a situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible
    synonyms: dead end, impasse, stalemate, standstill
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    type of:
    situation
    a complex or critical or unusual difficulty
  2. verb
    fail or cause to fail to progress because of disagreement between opposing sides
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    type of:
    differ, disagree, dissent, take issue
    be of different opinions
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