from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A riddle in which a fanciful question is answered by a pun.
- n. A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma: "the conundrum, thus far unanswered, of achieving full employment without inflation” ( Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A difficult question or riddle, especially one using a play on words in the answer.
- n. A difficult choice or decision that must be made.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A kind of riddle based upon some fanciful or fantastic resemblance between things quite unlike; a puzzling question, of which the answer is or involves a pun.
- n. A question to which only a conjectural answer can be made.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A conceit; a device; a hoax.
- n. A riddle in which some odd resemblance is proposed for discovery between things quite unlike, or some odd difference between similar things, the answer often involving a pun.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a difficult problem
Origin unknown.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
A word of unknown origin, probably coined in burlesque imitation of scholastic Latin, as “hocus-pocus” or “panjandrum.” (Wiktionary)