from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.
- n. Usage Problem A problem that seems to defy a satisfactory solution.
- n. Logic An argument that presents two alternatives, each of which has the same consequence.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A circumstance in which a choice must be made between two or more alternatives that seem equally undesirable.
- n. this sense) (disputed) A difficult circumstance or problem.
- n. 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".
- n. Offering to an opponent a choice between two (equally unfavorable) alternatives.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An argument which presents an antagonist with two or more alternatives, but is equally conclusive against him, whichever alternative he chooses.
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A form of argument in which it is shown that whoever maintains a certain proposition must accept one or other of two alternative conclusions, and that each of these involves the denial of the proposition in question.
- n. A difficult or doubtful choice; a state of things in which the alternatives appear to be equally bad or undesirable.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options
An editor once defined the word "dilemma" for me as "a choice between two undesirable outcomes."
As I have been taught over and over again, the officer with the dilemma is the one covering the officer pointing the TASER, if the TASER misses then they will be taking the lethal shot.
The object of the dilemma is the famed Guggenheim Museum and what color it should be.
Fourthly, this dilemma is a self-perpetuating one.
Ethics concerns matters of right and wrong, good and bad; a dilemma is a difficult situation in which there appears no easy solution.
The only possible solution I can see to this dilemma is a drawing together forthwith of the 3,500,000 Frenchspeaking Canadians and the 5,000,000 English-speaking Canadians to evolve a modus vivendi in those fields where we can act as a unit.
It's what we call a dilemma: honest folk can disagree.
But that personal dilemma is compounded by Clement XV, who pushes
"Part of the dilemma is that Israel has been put in the overall foreign aid looping," he told JTA, a Jewish news agency.
The water dilemma is one more example of counterfeit correlation: if we conserve water, we will have the answer and solve our predicament.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.