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

n a situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible

Synonyms:
dead end, impasse, stalemate, standstill
Type of:
situation
a complex or critical or unusual difficulty

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.