March 15, 2012
logjam (noun)
\LOG-jam\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a stopping of action because both sides in a struggle are equally powerful and neither will give in2 : blockage3 : jam, crowd
How do you use it?
There was a logjam of people near the red carpet, trying to get a glimpse of the stars walking into the movie premiere.
Are you a word wiz?

When "logjam" entered English in the late 1800s, it had another meaning that he we haven't given you. What was the original meaning of "logjam"?

You're not barking up the wrong tree with answer D. "Logjam" was originally a word used in the logging industry. After logs were cut, they were often moved along a river towards a mill or port. Rivers don't run straight though, and they aren't always the same width or depth. During high production times, logs would sometimes bunch together and get stuck. This was called a "logjam," and sometimes explosives were needed to break it up. By the 1900s, "logjam" was being used figuratively of a situation where no progress can be made because of some kind of block.
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