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Blind alley   /blaɪnd ˈæli/   Listen
Blind alley

noun
1.
A street with only one way in or out.  Synonyms: cul de sac, dead-end street, impasse.
2.
(figurative) a course of action that is unproductive and offers no hope of improvement.  "So far every road that we've been down has turned out to be a blind alley"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Blind alley" Quotes from Famous Books



... went out, after imploring me as usual to take care of everything. The room we occupied was at the end of a blind alley, up a flight of nine stone steps. The alley led into a crowded, narrow street, bordered with shops of many-coloured wares, which at that point was partly shaded by a fine old ilex tree. From where I sprawled upon a bed of borrowed cushions ...
— Oriental Encounters - Palestine and Syria, 1894-6 • Marmaduke Pickthall

... and planned, only to find that each road they launched out upon full of hope, terminated in the blind alley of the old ...
— Leonie of the Jungle • Joan Conquest

... ran, and ran, and ran. She ran up Fore Street, and down High Street, and through the Market-place, and down to the left, and over the bridge, and up the blind alley, and back again, and round by the Castle, and so along by the Haberdasher's on the right, opposite the lamp-post, and round the square, and she came—she came to the EXECUTION PLACE, where she saw Bulbo laying ...
— The Rose and the Ring • William Makepeace Thackeray

... his horse, until he had extricated himself completely from this suspicious neighborhood. He then observed, that it reminded him of a similar blind alley in Malta, infamous on account of the many assassinations that had taken place there; concerning one of which, he related a long and tragical story, that lasted until we reached Catania. It involved various circumstances of a wild and supernatural character, but which he assured ...
— Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies • Washington Irving

... Elisabeth. Out of this capital about fifty thousand came to them by the will of the widow Bidault, Madame Saillard's mother. Saillard's salary from the government had always been four thousand five hundred francs a year, and no more; his situation was a blind alley that led nowhere, and had tempted no one to supersede him. Those ninety thousand francs, put together sou by sou, were the fruit therefore of a sordid economy unintelligently employed. In fact, the Saillards did not know how better to manage their savings ...
— Bureaucracy • Honore de Balzac

... that love was as simple and straightforward as finding the end of a blind alley. There was good reason for me to change my belief as the days passed and nothing was said on ...
— The House of the Misty Star - A Romance of Youth and Hope and Love in Old Japan • Fannie Caldwell Macaulay

... been alone Kitty would have rushed at the madman; but the sight of Hawksley robbed her of all mobility. His unexpected appearance was to her the Book of Revelation. The blind alley she had entered and reentered so many times and so ...
— The Drums Of Jeopardy • Harold MacGrath

... glades in its path. The road ended abruptly just north of the drift, where the east-west grade sprang up. When the wind had reached this end of the lane, where the bush ran at right angles to its direction, it had found itself in something like a blind alley, and, sweeping upward, to clear the obstacle, it had dropped every bit of its load into the shelter of the brush, gradually, in the course of three long days, building up a ridge that buried underbrush ...
— Over Prairie Trails • Frederick Philip Grove

... the strait and narrow got me to, I'd like to know? Sometimes I think it's nothing but a blind alley pushing ...
— Every Soul Hath Its Song • Fannie Hurst

... had gone a long way from The Crying Calf. By a labyrinth of little streets, all darkness and mystery, Vagualame had led his companion to a kind of blind alley: a tall house blocked the end of it. A large shop on the ground floor occupied half the front of it. Although the iron shutters had been drawn down, light from the interior penetrated through apertures to ...
— A Nest of Spies • Pierre Souvestre

... rich Americans. I asked her what was wrong, and she laughed and said, "We were trying to make thirty francs do the work of thirty thousand. And we have made up our minds that we know no more of art than house painters. We are in a blind alley!" Soon after that the baby was born. They went down to Brittany. I hear that Lisa, since the child came, has been ill. I tell all this dreary stuff to you thinking that you may pass it on to their folks. Somebody ought ...
— Frances Waldeaux • Rebecca Harding Davis

... you have ever swallowed a spoonful of cod-liver oil; but in most fishes its old companion, the pancreas, has disappeared. In its stead you will find, close by the outlet of the pylorus, the open ends of certain small tubes, which are shut in at their upper extremity like a "blind alley," and through which descends into the interstices a thick glairy fluid, given out from their sides or walls. The result is the same, you see, although the organ is different; and, remarkably enough, these little tubes ...
— The History of a Mouthful of Bread - And its effect on the organization of men and animals • Jean Mace

... "A blind alley, if ever there was one," muttered Mr. Gryce; and ordering the policeman to replace the bag as nearly as possible on the spot from which it had been taken, he proceeded with ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... her companion meditatively. Then, with the feeling that she had followed a blind alley to its termination, she retreated and made ...
— Miss Billy Married • Eleanor H. Porter

... give her no explanation of the extraordinary situation in which he would find himself, a situation truly calculated to create any amount of misunderstanding. To all appearances the adventure on which he had started out had brought him to an impasse, a blind alley, from which there was no favourable issue ...
— Antony Gray,—Gardener • Leslie Moore

... had once seen and whom he ardently studies, for his master in philosophy, politics and style. Fancying, probably, like other young men of his age and condition, that he could play a similar part and thus emerge from his blind alley, he published law pleadings for effect, contended for Academy prizes, and read papers before his Arras colleagues. His success was moderate: one of his harangues obtained a notice in the Artois Almanac; the Academy of Metz awarded him only a second prize; ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... not so fast!" said Carew, haughtily, drawing himself up, with his hand on his poniard; "dost mean to tell me that I have lied to thee? Marry, sir, thy tongue will run thee into a blind alley! I told thee that the boy could sing, but not that he ...
— Master Skylark • John Bennett

... presents itself in planting apple seed. What variety shall I choose? Some pedigrees may be like a blind alley, they will lead us nowhere. The commercial apples of the East and of the Pacific Coast are the survivors of millions of apple seedlings raised by immigrants from Western Europe during the past three centuries. They survived because they were the ...
— Trees, Fruits and Flowers of Minnesota, 1916 • Various

... way to the bar and then through a back room or two, until with a turn we were in a blind alley. With a few more steps we found ourselves in a back hall which led into another building. I became confused after a little, and lost all idea of the direction in which we were going. We mounted one flight of stairs, I remember, and after passing through two or three winding hallways and ...
— Blindfolded • Earle Ashley Walcott

... the boilers. It was this misfortune that had held the work up for several days until a spare boiler could be installed. Peter tried to find out how these accidents had happened, but each line of investigation led up a blind alley. Jesse Brown, his foreman, seemed to be loyal, but he was easy-going and weak. With many of his own friends among the workers both at the camp and mills he tried to hold his job by carrying water on both shoulders and the consequences were inevitable. ...
— The Vagrant Duke • George Gibbs

... looked around it seemed incredible that such things as he was trying to prevent could even be imagined. After the early rain, the day had cleared up warm and lovely, and it was now the most perfect of things, a beautiful summer day in England. The little road they had taken was a sort of blind alley. It had brought them to a meadow, whence the hay had already been cut. At the far side of this ran a little brook, and all about them were trees. Except for the call of birds, and the ceaseless hum ...
— The Boy Scout Aviators • George Durston

... furnished. There were rugs for the wooden floors and pictures and mirrors for the walls; and in each of them there was the jolliest little stove with a removable lid. We discovered one of these underground palaces at the end of a blind alley leading off from the main trench. It was at least fifteen feet underground, with two stairways leading down to it, so that if escape was cut off in one direction, it was still possible to get out on the other side. We immediately took possession, ...
— Kitchener's Mob - Adventures of an American in the British Army • James Norman Hall



Words linked to "Blind alley" :   thoroughfare, course of action, figure of speech, course, image, trope, figure



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