standoff


a situation in which no progress can be made

TRANSLATION

standoff = die Pattsituation, ausweglose Situation --- GOOGLE INDEX standoff: approximately 17,500,000 Google hits

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

The election of Greece's left-wing government on a promise to reduce the country's mountain of debt has created a STANDOFF with Germany.

(BBC News)

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The West must be ready for a long STANDOFF with Russia over Ukraine and not quickly resume normal ties as it did after the 2008 Georgian war, a top NATO official said on Monday.

(New York Times)

Did you
know?

standoff
noun

- a situation in which agreement in an argument does not seem possible

(Cambridge Dictionary)

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The word standoff stems from the idea of two people in an argument or confrontation who are standing apart (off) from one another. The gap or distance between the two people serves as a symbol of the difference in opinions. Standoffs have been used in western movies as long as anyone can remember. Just think of Gary Cooper or John Wayne standing in the street facing the bad guy.

Standoffs can occur between countries or governments, political parties (happens a lot), individual politicians (happens even more), co-workers and between parents and children.

A very similar term is "Mexican standoff," which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as a situation in which people on opposite sides threaten each other but neither tries to come to an agreement. Why it's called a "Mexican" standoff is unclear, but it is probably related to the unfortunate practice of using Mexican as a negative and derogatory adjective in the US to describe something that is fraudulent or of inferior quality.

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SYNONYMS

deadlock, draw, gridlock, impasse, stalemate, standstill

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