Run Into a Brick Wall

Run into a stone wall
Hit a brick wall

Meaning of Idiom ‘Run Into a Brick Wall’

To run into a brick wall means to encounter a barrier to progress that cannot be surmounted; to be stopped in one’s efforts by something. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Examples Of Use

“The scientist’s research was making great progress until he ran into a brick wall when his main grant was not renewed.”

“I was making good progress researching my family’s genealogy but beyond the late 1800s I keep hitting a brick wall.”

“We’ve been trying to get this building approved for a year but we keep running into a stone wall trying to get past the zoning board.”

Meaning of run into a brick wall idiom


Used since at least the 1940s.

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