An example of a dilemma is when you only have two extra tickets to an event and three friends that want to go.
- an argument necessitating a choice between equally unfavorable or disagreeable alternatives
- any situation in which one must choose between unpleasant alternatives
- any serious problem
Origin of dilemmaLate Latin ; from Ecclesiastical Late Greek dil?mma ; from di-, two + l?mma, proposition: see lemma
- A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or unsatisfactory.
- Usage Problem A problem that seems to defy a satisfactory solution.
- Logic An argument that presents two alternatives, each of which has the same consequence.
Origin of dilemmaLate Latin, from Greek dil&emacron;mma, ambiguous proposition : di-, two; see di–1 + l&emacron;mma, proposition; see lemma1.
(plural dilemmas or dilemmata)
- 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 is true; either A or C is true; therefore either B or D is true".
- (rhetoric) Offering to an opponent a choice between two (equally unfavorable) alternatives.
- The sense of a difficult circumstance or problem is considered non-standard[by whom?].
- Occasionally spelled/misspelled as dilemna, perhaps originally via false analogy with words such as condemn, solemn, and hymn. This spelling has been reportedly taught in many regions of Great Britain and The United States as well as around the world; and can be found in the works of many well-known authors. (e.g. Watts, Defroe & Goldsmith)
First attested 1523, from Late Latin dilemma, from Ancient Greek δίλημμα (dilēmma, “ambiguous proposition”), from δι- (di-) + λῆμμα (lēmma, “premise, proposition”).