Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A road or passage having no exit; a cul-de-sac.
  • n. A situation that is so difficult that no progress can be made; a deadlock or a stalemate: reached an impasse in the negotiations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a road with no exit; a cul-de-sac
  • n. a deadlock or stalemate situation in which no progress can be made

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An impassable road or way; a blind alley; cul-de-sac; fig., a position or predicament affording no escape.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a street with only one way in or out
  • n. a situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible

Etymologies

French : in-, not (from Latin in-; see in-1) + passe, a passing (from Old French, from passer, to pass; see pass).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French impasse (19th century), from in- + passer. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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