What does deadlock mean?

Definitions for deadlockˈdɛdˌlɒk

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word deadlock.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. deadlock, dead end, impasse, stalemate, standstill(noun)

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

    "reached an impasse on the negotiations"


  1. deadlock(Noun)

    A standstill resulting from the opposition of two evenly matched forces; a stalemate or impasse

  2. deadlock(Noun)

    An inability to continue due to two programs or devices each requiring a response from the other before completing an operation

  3. deadlock(Verb)

    to cause or to come to a deadlock

Webster Dictionary

  1. Deadlock(noun)

    a lock which is not self-latching, but requires a key to throw the bolt forward

  2. Deadlock(noun)

    a counteraction of things, which produces an entire stoppage; a complete obstruction of action


  1. Deadlock

    A deadlock is a situation in which two or more competing actions are each waiting for the other to finish, and thus neither ever does. In computer science a deadly embrace is a deadlock involving exactly two competing actions. It is a term more commonly used in Europe. Outside of computer science a deadly embrace is a deadlock involving exactly two competing actions tending toward some form of tragedy, for example, mutual death or mutual extinction. In an operating system, a deadlock is a situation which occurs when a process or thread enters a waiting state because a resource requested is being held by another waiting process, which in turn is waiting for another resource. If a process is unable to change its state indefinitely because the resources requested by it are being used by another waiting process, then the system is said to be in a deadlock. Deadlock is a common problem in multiprocessing systems, parallel computing and distributed systems, where software and hardware locks are used to handle shared resources and implement process synchronization. In telecommunication systems, deadlocks occur mainly due to lost or corrupt signals instead of resource contention.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. deadlock

    1. [techspeak] A situation wherein two or more processes are unable to proceed because each is waiting for one of the others to do something. A common example is a program communicating to a server, which may find itself waiting for output from the server before sending anything more to it, while the server is similarly waiting for more input from the controlling program before outputting anything. (It is reported that this particular flavor of deadlock is sometimes called a starvation deadlock, though the term starvation is more properly used for situations where a program can never run simply because it never gets high enough priority. Another common flavor is constipation, in which each process is trying to send stuff to the other but all buffers are full because nobody is reading anything.) See deadly embrace. 2. Also used of deadlock-like interactions between humans, as when two people meet in a narrow corridor, and each tries to be polite by moving aside to let the other pass, but they end up swaying from side to side without making any progress because they always move the same way at the same time.

Suggested Resources

  1. deadlock

    Song lyrics by deadlock -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by deadlock on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of deadlock in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of deadlock in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Bontoi Munkhdul:

    I'm sure he'll try (to fix Oyu Tolgoi) but he was in the cabinet for the past three years and we're still at a deadlock, But he's well liked in the business community.

  2. President Barack Obama:

    The way we break the deadlock on this issue is when Congress does not have just a stranglehold on this debate -- or, excuse me, the NRA does not have a stranglehold on Congress in this debate.

  3. Carsten Brzeski:

    ECB-bashing has become fashionable in Germany, this can paralyze the euro zone because it means the policy mix continues to be in deadlock. They will not move on issues such as Greek debt restructuring.

  4. Deutsche Bank strategist George Saravelos:

    A continuation of the deadlock on Monday will immediately shift focus to Wednesday’s bi-weekly ECB review of the ELA limits of Greek banks, in the event of failure, we would expect the ECB to become more explicit on the timing of when ELA funding would be withdrawn or capped.

Images & Illustrations of deadlock

  1. deadlockdeadlockdeadlock

Translations for deadlock

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • застой, мъртва точкаBulgarian
  • deadlock, uváznutíCzech
  • Stillstand, toter Punkt, Verklemmung, DeadlockGerman
  • estancamiento, punto muertoSpanish
  • solmuFinnish
  • étreinte fatale, interblocage, impasseFrench
  • 停滞, 膠着状態, 行き詰まり, デッドロックJapanese
  • deadlock, impassePortuguese
  • застой, тупик, мёртвая точка, дедлок, взаимная блокировкаRussian
  • بندشUrdu
  • 僵局Chinese

Get even more translations for deadlock »


Find a translation for the deadlock definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these deadlock definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"deadlock." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 25 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/deadlock>.

Are we missing a good definition for deadlock? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for deadlock:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.