The definition of predicament is a difficult or unpleasant situation.
An example of a predicament is a wife walking into the restaurant where her husband is having lunch with his mistress.
- a condition or situation, now specif. one that is difficult, unpleasant, embarrassing, or, sometimes, comical
- Archaic category (sense )
Origin of predicamentMiddle English from Ecclesiastical Late Latin praedicamentum from Classical Latin praedicare: see preach
- A situation, especially an unpleasant, troublesome, or trying one, from which extrication is difficult.
- Logic One of the basic states or classifications described by Aristotle into which all things can be placed; a category.
Origin of predicamentMiddle English class, category from Old French from Late Latin praedicāmentum ( translation of Greek katēgoriā ) ( from katēgoreuein to speak against, signify, predicate ) from Latin praedicāre to proclaim publicly, predicate ; see preach.
predicament plight 1quandary jam 1fix pickle
These nouns refer to a situation from which it is difficult to free oneself. A predicament is a problematic situation about which one does not know what to do: “Werner finds himself suddenly in a most awkward predicament” (Thomas Carlyle). A plight is a bad or unfortunate situation: The report examined the plight of homeless people. A quandary is a state of perplexity, especially about what course of action to take: “Having captured our men, we were in a quandary how to keep them” (Theodore Roosevelt). Jam and fix are less formal terms that refer to predicaments from which it is difficult to escape: kids who were in a jam with the authorities; “If we get left on this wreck we are in a fix” (Mark Twain). An informal term, a pickle is a disagreeable, embarrassing, or troublesome predicament: “I could see no way out of the pickle I was in” (Robert Louis Stevenson).