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3 definitions found
 for Dilemma
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Dilemma \Di*lem"ma\, n. [L. dilemma, Gr. ?; di- = di`s- twice +
     ? to take. See Lemma.]
     1. (Logic) An argument which presents an antagonist with two
        or more alternatives, but is equally conclusive against
        him, whichever alternative he chooses.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: The following are instances of the dilemma. A young
           rhetorician applied to an old sophist to be taught the
           art of pleading, and bargained for a certain reward to
           be paid when he should gain a cause. The master sued
           for his reward, and the scholar endeavored to elude his
           claim by a dilemma. "If I gain my cause, I shall
           withhold your pay, because the judge's award will be
           against you; if I lose it, I may withhold it, because I
           shall not yet have gained a cause." "On the contrary,"
           says the master, "if you gain your cause, you must pay
           me, because you are to pay me when you gain a cause; if
           you lose it, you must pay me, because the judge will
           award it." --Johnson.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. 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.
        [1913 Webster]
              A strong dilemma in a desperate case!
              To act with infamy, or quit the place. --Swift.
        [1913 Webster]
     Horns of a dilemma, alternatives, each of which is equally
        difficult of encountering.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring
           a choice between equally unfavorable options [syn:
           dilemma, quandary]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  79 Moby Thesaurus words for "dilemma":
     Aristotelian sorites, Goclenian sorites, Gordian knot,
     Scylla and Charybdis, baffle, bafflement, bewilderment, bind,
     bother, box, catch-22, categorical syllogism, choice of Hercules,
     confoundment, confusion, corner, crux, deadlock, difficulty,
     discomposure, disconcert, disconcertedness, disconcertion,
     disconcertment, disturbance, embarrassment, enigma, enthymeme,
     figure, fix, hole, impasse, jam, knot, knotty point, mode,
     modus tollens, mood, mystery, mystification, no choice, node,
     nodus, nonplus, only choice, oxymoron, paradox, paralogism,
     perplexity, perturbation, pickle, plight, pons asinorum, poser,
     pother, predicament, problem, prosyllogism, pseudosyllogism,
     puzzle, puzzlement, quandary, riddle, rule, rule of deduction,
     scrape, snooker, sorites, spot, squeeze, stalemate, stew, stymie,
     syllogism, teaser, trouble, unassuredness, upset, vexed question

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