Idiom 111 – Dead heat

We are currently looking for a new staff member for my team. We’ve had dozens of applications, but only two have been interesting. We have invited them both for interviews. I hope it becomes clear who is better for us, because at the moment, based on their CVs, it’s a dead heat (Unentschieden).


Another idiom that comes to us from the world of horse racing – where a dead heat is a race in which two or more horses finish exactly equal. But why the words „dead“ and „heat“? As mentioned in a previous post the word dead also has an additional meaning besides not alive. This meaning – exact, or precise which gives us expressions like deadline, dead ringer, or dead centre  –  is what is meant in this idiom. A heat is the name of a qualifying round in a race before the final.