from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A stalemate, or a confrontation between two or more sides that no side can win.
- n. A confrontation between two or more armed parties, neither of which wants to attack first (fearing that the other could retaliate), but neither of which will disarm (for fear the other will attack).
- n. A near-collision between two trains, an averted cornfield meet.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a situation in which no one can emerge as a clear winner
The origin of this expression is uncertain, but it is likely that it arose in the American southwest during the late 1800s. The Cambridge Dictionary makes an unattributed claim that the term is of Australian origin. (Wiktionary)