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Meaning of DEADLOCK

Pronunciation:  'ded`lâk

WordNet Dictionary
[n]  a situation in which no progress can be made; "reached an impasse on the negotiations"

DEADLOCK is a 8 letter word that starts with D.


 Synonyms: impasse, stalemate, standstill
 See Also: arrest, check, halt, hitch, stay, stop, stoppage



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\Dead"lock`\, n.
1. A lock which is not self-latching, but requires a key to
   throw the bolt forward.

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

         Things are at a deadlock.             --London

         The Board is much more likely to be at a deadlock of
         two to two.                           --The Century.

Computing Dictionary

A situation where 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 waiting for output from a server while the server is waiting for more input from the controlling program before outputting anything. It is reported that this particular flavour 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 flavour 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.

Another example, common in database programming, is two processes that are sharing some resource (e.g. read access to a table) but then both decide to wait for exclusive (e.g. write) access.

The term "deadly embrace" is mostly synonymous, though usually used only when exactly two processes are involved. This is the more popular term in Europe, while deadlock predominates in the United States.

Compare: livelock. See also safety property, liveness property.

[jargon file]

Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: arrest, bell, blind alley, block, box, brake, bring to, bring up short, cessation, check, checkmate, condition, corner, cul-de-sac, cut short, cutoff, dam, dead end, dead heat, dead set, dead stand, dead stop, dead-end street, dilemma, draw, draw rein, dying down, ebb, ebbing, end, endgame, ending, even break, extremity, fair shake, final whistle, freeze, full stop, grinding halt, gun, halt, hole, impasse, knotted score, lock, lockout, neck-and-neck race, photo finish, plight, posture, predicament, pull up, put paid to, quandary, sit-down strike, situation, slow down, stalemate, stall, stand, standoff, stand-off, standstill, state, stay, stem, stem the tide, stillstand, stop, stop cold, stop dead, stop short, stoppage, strike, stymie, subsidence, the same, tie, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, walkout, wane, waning, work stoppage