- The definition of conundrum is a situation where there is no clear right answer or no good solution.
An example of a conundrum is a challenging riddle to which you can't figure out the answer.
- a riddle whose answer contains a pun (Ex.: “What's the difference between a jeweler and a jailer?”“One sells watches and the other watches cells.”)
- any puzzling question or problem
Origin: 16th-c. Oxford University Classical Latin slang for pedant, whim, and the like ; early spelling, spelled quonundrum
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A riddle in which a fanciful question is answered by a pun.
- A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma: “the conundrum, thus far unanswered, of achieving full employment without inflation” (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)
Origin: Origin unknown.