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logjam

A logjam is just what it sounds like: a bunch of logs all jammed together, blocking the flow of water in a river or stream. You can also call other kinds of blockages logjams — like a traffic logjam that develops due to rubbernecking drivers trying to check out a crash.

Logjams change the way water flows in a river, sometimes creating new channels and pools from the overflow of water. This can be good for spawning fish, but sometimes a logjam causes flooding and other problems. This has given rise to the figurative logjam, a problem that stops or blocks progress: "The disagreement caused a logjam in Congress until the President stepped in."

Definitions of logjam
  1. noun
    an immovable mass of logs blocking a river
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    type of:
    mass
    an ill-structured collection of similar things (objects or people)
  2. noun
    any stoppage attributable to unusual activity
    “the legislation ran into a logjam
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    type of:
    arrest, check, halt, hitch, stay, stop, stoppage
    the state of inactivity following an interruption
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