Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Dead Lock.

 Dead Lights.Dead Men. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Dead Lock.
 
A lock which has no spring catch. Metaphorically, a state of things so entangled that there seems to be no practical solution.
       
“Things are at a dead-lock.”—The Times.
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 Dead Lights.Dead Men. 

 
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