A situation in which it is impossible to make progress.
Gridlock takes its meaning from a situation in which there are so many cars on the roads in a network of intersecting streets that traffic cannot move. As a result, all traffic becomes locked in a complete standstill. The resulting congestion and halting of movement is known as gridlock due to the grid system of roads in New York, where the term was first used. This type of traffic jam has been used as a metaphor for other versions of immobility whereby flow is stalled by surplus demand, or any situation in which nothing can progress or proceed in any direction.
A group of Conservative MPs have requested that cabinet ministers prioritize Britain’s ports and bring forward plans to improve access to them in order to prevent potential gridlock for the British economy as a result of Brexit. The senior backbenchers have produced a report that recommends improving customs checks, widening roads, accelerating infrastructure projects and building lorry parks. The report states that: ‘Gridlock at the channel ports will mean gridlock in the UK economy.’
1 a situation in which there are so many cars on the roads that traffic cannot move
2 a situation in which it is impossible to make progress