dilemma

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See also: Dilemma

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First attested 1523, from Late Latin dilemma, from Ancient Greek δίλημμα ‎(dílēmma, ambiguous proposition), from δι- ‎(di-) + λῆμμα ‎(lêmma, premise, proposition).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: dī-lĕmʹə or dĭ-lĕmʹə, IPA(key): /daɪˈlɛmə/, /dɪˈlɛmə/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛmə
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Wikipedia

In the story of Odysseus, a ship captain faced a dilemma when he was forced to choose between confronting one of two dangerous sea monsters, Scylla or Charybdis, leading to the phrase between Scylla and Charybdis.

Noun[edit]

dilemma ‎(plural dilemmas or dilemmata)

  1. A circumstance in which a choice must be made between two or more alternatives that seem equally undesirable.
    • Jonathan Swift
      A strong dilemma in a desperate case! / To act with infamy, or quit the place.
  2. A difficult circumstance or problem.
  3. (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".
  4. (rhetoric) Offering to an opponent a choice between two (equally unfavorable) alternatives.

Usage notes[edit]

  • 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).[1]

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Wide Words: Dilemma

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

dilemma n ‎(plural dilemma's, diminutive dilemmaatje n)

  1. dilemma (between two alternatives)

Finnish[edit]

(index d)

Finnish Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fi

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Hyphenation: di‧lem‧ma

Noun[edit]

dilemma

  1. dilemma (between two alternatives)

Declension[edit]

Inflection of dilemma (Kotus type 13/katiska, no gradation)
nominative dilemma dilemmat
genitive dilemman dilemmoiden
dilemmoitten
dilemmojen
partitive dilemmaa dilemmoita
dilemmoja
illative dilemmaan dilemmoihin
singular plural
nominative dilemma dilemmat
accusative nom.? dilemma dilemmat
gen. dilemman
genitive dilemman dilemmoiden
dilemmoitten
dilemmojen
dilemmainrare
partitive dilemmaa dilemmoita
dilemmoja
inessive dilemmassa dilemmoissa
elative dilemmasta dilemmoista
illative dilemmaan dilemmoihin
adessive dilemmalla dilemmoilla
ablative dilemmalta dilemmoilta
allative dilemmalleˣ dilemmoilleˣ
essive dilemmana dilemmoina
translative dilemmaksi dilemmoiksi
instructive dilemmoin
abessive dilemmatta dilemmoitta
comitative dilemmoineen

Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek δίλημμα ‎(dílēmma).

Noun[edit]

dilemma m ‎(plural dilemmi)

  1. dilemma (between two alternatives)

Related terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]