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impasse (noun) a situation offering no escape or a solution; a deadlock.

An impasse is a deadlock, that is, a situation in which the two parties to a dispute or argument cannot arrive at a solution, and the negotiations make no progress. An impasse is reached when neither side makes a concession to the other side, and so no solution seems possible. A situation from which there is no escape is also an impasse.

  • The impasse between the two nations continued as neither was willing to forgo its claim to the share of the river waters forming the border between the two countries. The discussions had reached a point from which there was no progress.
  • There was an impasse over who should be the party's candidate for the elections, as the party members were equally divided between the two candidates with no signs of any change in their support.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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