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dilemma

Definition:

a state of uncertainty or perplexity, especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options

Class:

cognition noun (cognitive processes and contents)

Plural:

dilemmas

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Example:

double bind

Synonyms:

quandary

Etymology:

Late Latin dilemma, from Greek dilemma "double proposition", a technical term in...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

Definition references

Wiktionary:

dilemma | dilemmas [plural] | dilemmata [plural] | bind [synonym, sense-specific] | fix [synonym, sense-specific] | pickle [synonym, sense-specific] | problem [synonym, sense-specific] | quandary [synonym, sense-specific]

A circumstance in which a choice must be made between two or more alternatives that seem equally undesirable. | [loosely] A difficult circumstance or problem. | [logic] A type of syllogism of the form "if A is true then B is true; if C is true then D... (46 of 156 words, 4 definitions, pronunciation, 1 image)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/dilemma

Wikipedia:

Dilemma

a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable. One in this position has been traditionally described as "being on the horns of a dilemma", neither horn being comfortable. This is sometimes more colorfully described as... (38 of 652 words)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Dilemma

Dilemma (disambiguation)

a double proposition in logics. Dilemma may also refer to: "Dilemma" (song), by Kelly Rowland and Nelly | Dilemma (genus), a genus of bivalves | Prisoner's dilemma, a type of non-zero-sum game in which two players may each "cooperate" with or "defect" ... (40 of 156 words, 12 definitions)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Dilemma (disambiguation)

Collins Dictionary:

dilemma | on the horns of a dilemma [sense-specific] | dilemmic [adjective, derived]

a situation necessitating a choice between two equal, especially equally undesirable, alternatives | a problem that seems incapable of a solution | ... (20 of 561 words, 4 definitions, 8 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/dilemma

Merriam-Webster:

dilemma | catch-22 [synonym, sense-specific] | double bind [synonym, sense-specific] | quandary [synonym, sense-specific] | deadlock [similar, sense-specific] | impasse [similar, sense-specific] | quagmire [similar, sense-specific] | stalemate [similar, sense-specific] | standoff [similar, sense-specific] | ...

an argument presenting two or more equally conclusive alternatives against an opponent | a usually undesirable or unpleasant choice ; a situation ... (21 of 453 words, 3 definitions, 6 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/dilemma

Britannica Encyclopedia:

dilemma [logic]

in syllogistic, or traditional, logic, any one of several forms of inference in which there are two major premises of hypothetical form and a ... (24 of 202 words)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/163525​/dilemma

Oxford Dictionary:

dilemma

a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable | a difficult ... (24 of 193 words, 3 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/dilemma

American Heritage Dictionary:

dilemma | dilemmatic [adjective, related]

A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive. | [non-standard] A problem that seems ... (22 of 182 words, 3 definitions, pronunciations)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/dilemma

Macmillan British Dictionary:

dilemma [countable] | dilemmas [plural]

a situation in which you have to make a difficult decision (11 of 69 words, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/dilemma

Random House Dictionary:

dilemma

a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives. | any difficult or perplexing situation or problem. | [logic] a form of ... (20 of 67 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/dilemma

Cambridge Dictionary:

dilemma

a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two different things you could do (18 of 51 words, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/dilemma

New World Dictionary:

dilemma | dilemmatic [adjective, related]

an argument necessitating a choice between equally unfavorable or disagreeable alternatives | any situation in which one must choose between ... (19 of 45 words, 3 definitions, pronunciations)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/dilemma

Encarta Dictionary:

dilemma | dilemmas [plural]

a situation in which somebody must choose one of two or more unsatisfactory alternatives | in logic, a form of reasoning that, though valid, leads to ... (25 of 61 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861604714​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

dilemma

First use: 1520s

Origin: Late Latin dilemma, from Greek dilemma "double proposition", a technical term in rhetoric, from di- "two" + lemma ... (19 of 62 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=dilemma

Oxford Dictionary:

dilemma

First use: early 16th century

Origin: (denoting a form of argument involving a choice between equally unfavourable alternatives): via Latin from Greek dilēmma, from di- ... (22 of 25 etymology words)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/dilemma

Merriam-Webster:

dilemma

First use: 1523

Origin: Late Latin, from Late Greek dilēmmat-, dilēmma, probably back-formation from Greek dilēmmatos involving two assumptions, from ... (17 of 21 etymology words)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/dilemma

Wiktionary:

dilemma | dilemmas [plural] | dilemmata [plural]

Origin: First attested 1523, from Late Latin dilemma, from Ancient Greek δίλημμα (dilēmma, "ambiguous proposition"), from δι- (di-) + λῆμμα (lēmma, "premise, proposition").

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/dilemma

American Heritage Dictionary:

dilemma

Origin: Late Latin, from Greek dilēmma, ambiguous proposition: di-, two; see "di-" [entry 1] + lēmma, proposition; see "lemma" [entry 1].

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/dilemma

Collins Dictionary:

dilemma

First use: 16th century

Origin: via Latin from Greek, from di-1 + lēmma assumption, proposition, from lambanein to take, grasp

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/dilemma

New World Dictionary:

dilemma

Origin: Late Latin from Late GreekEc dilēmma from di-, two + lēmma, proposition: see "lemma"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/dilemma

Encarta Dictionary:

dilemma | dilemmas [plural]

First use: Early 16th century

Origin: Latin from Greek dilēmma "double proposition" from lēmma "proposition"

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861604714​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Wiktionary:

dilemma | dilemmas [plural] | dilemmata [plural]

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "dilemma"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/dilemma

Collins Dictionary:

dilemma

Audio 1: British English pronunciation of "dilemma"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "dilemma"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/dilemma

Macmillan American Dictionary:

dilemma [countable] | dilemmas [plural]

Audio 1: North American pronunciation of "dilemma"

Audio 2: North American pronunciation of "dilemma"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/dilemma

Macmillan British Dictionary:

dilemma [countable] | dilemmas [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "dilemma"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/dilemma

Cambridge Dictionary:

dilemma

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "dilemma"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "dilemma"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/dilemma

the Free Dictionary:

dilemma

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "dilemma"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "dilemma"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "dilemma" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/dilemma

Google Dictionary:

dilemma | dilemmas [plural]

Audio: English pronunciation of "dilemma"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=dilemma

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

dilemma

Audio: North American pronunciation of "dilemma"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=dilemm​01 word=dilemma

YourDictionary Audio:

dilemma

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "dilemma" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/dilemma

freedictionary.org:

dilemma

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "dilemma" by speech synthesizer

freedictionary​.org​/ Query=dilemma

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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