Definitions for dilemmadɪˈlɛm ə

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word dilemma

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

di•lem•ma*dɪˈlɛm ə(n.)(pl.)-mas.

  1. a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives.

  2. any perplexing situation or problem.

  3. a form of syllogism in which the major premise is formed of two or more conditional propositions and the minor premise is a disjunctive proposition, as “If A, then B; if C then D. Either A or C. Therefore, either B or D.”

    Category: Philosphy

* Syn: See predicament.

Origin of dilemma:

1515–25; < LL < Gk dílēmma=di-di -1+lêmma an assumption, premise, der. of lambánein to take


Princeton's WordNet

  1. dilemma, quandary(noun)

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

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. dilemma(noun)ɪˈlɛm ə

    a situation in which it is difficult to make a decision

    a dilemma over/about which invitation to accept


  1. dilemma(Noun)

    A circumstance in which a choice must be made between two or more alternatives that seem equally undesirable.

  2. dilemma(Noun)

    (disputed) A difficult circumstance or problem.

  3. dilemma(Noun)

    A type of syllogism of the form "if A is true then B is true; if C is true then D is true; either A or C is true; therefore either B or D is true".

  4. dilemma(Noun)

    Offering to an opponent a choice between two (equally unfavorable) alternatives.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dilemma(noun)

    an argument which presents an antagonist with two or more alternatives, but is equally conclusive against him, whichever alternative he chooses

  2. Dilemma(noun)

    a state of things in which evils or obstacles present themselves on every side, and it is difficult to determine what course to pursue; a vexatious alternative or predicament; a difficult choice or position


  1. Dilemma

    A dilemma is 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 "Finding oneself impaled upon the horns of a dilemma", referring to the sharp points of a bull's horns, equally uncomfortable. The dilemma is sometimes used as a rhetorical device, in the form "you must accept either A, or B"; here A and B would be propositions each leading to some further conclusion. Applied incorrectly, it constitutes a false dichotomy, a fallacy.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'dilemma' in Nouns Frequency: #2434

Anagrams of dilemma

  1. midmeal

Translations for dilemma

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a position or situation giving two choices, neither pleasant

His dilemma was whether to leave the party early so as to get a lift in his friend's car, or to stay and walk eight kilometres home.

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