dilemma

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See also: Dilemma

English[edit]

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.

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

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

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.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:dilemma
    • 1731, Jonathan Swift, "An Epistle to Mr. Gay"
      A strong dilemma in a desperate case! / To act with infamy, or quit the place.
  2. A difficult circumstance or problem.
    Synonyms: bind, fix, pickle, problem, quandary
  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]

Occasionally 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. Isaac Watts, Defoe & Goldsmith).[1]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Quinion, “Dilemma”, in World Wide Words, 1996–2021.

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin dilemma, from Ancient Greek δίλημμα (dílēmma).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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

  1. dilemma (between two alternatives)

Derived terms[edit]


Finnish[edit]

(index d)

Finnish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia fi

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈdilemːɑ/, [ˈdile̞mːɑ]
  • Rhymes: -ilemːɑ
  • Syllabification: 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 dilemmalle dilemmoille
essive dilemmana dilemmoina
translative dilemmaksi dilemmoiksi
instructive dilemmoin
abessive dilemmatta dilemmoitta
comitative dilemmoineen
Possessive forms of dilemma (type katiska)
possessor singular plural
1st person dilemmani dilemmamme
2nd person dilemmasi dilemmanne
3rd person dilemmansa

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]


Turkish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek δίλημμα (dílēmma).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

dilemma (definite accusative dilemmayı, plural dilemmalar)

  1. dilemma
    Synonym: ikilem

Declension[edit]

Inflection
Nominative dilemma
Definite accusative dilemmayı
Singular Plural
Nominative dilemma dilemmalar
Definite accusative dilemmayı dilemmaları
Dative dilemmaya dilemmalara
Locative dilemmada dilemmalarda
Ablative dilemmadan dilemmalardan
Genitive dilemmanın dilemmaların
Possessive forms
Nominative Singular Plural
1st singular dilemmam dilemmalarım
2nd singular dilemman dilemmaların
3rd singular dilemması dilemmaları
1st plural dilemmamız dilemmalarımız
2nd plural dilemmanız dilemmalarınız
3rd plural dilemmaları dilemmaları
Definite accusative Singular Plural
1st singular dilemmamı dilemmalarımı
2nd singular dilemmanı dilemmalarını
3rd singular dilemmasını dilemmalarını
1st plural dilemmamızı dilemmalarımızı
2nd plural dilemmanızı dilemmalarınızı
3rd plural dilemmalarını dilemmalarını
Dative Singular Plural
1st singular dilemmama dilemmalarıma
2nd singular dilemmana dilemmalarına
3rd singular dilemmasına dilemmalarına
1st plural dilemmamıza dilemmalarımıza
2nd plural dilemmanıza dilemmalarınıza
3rd plural dilemmalarına dilemmalarına
Locative Singular Plural
1st singular dilemmamda dilemmalarımda
2nd singular dilemmanda dilemmalarında
3rd singular dilemmasında dilemmalarında
1st plural dilemmamızda dilemmalarımızda
2nd plural dilemmanızda dilemmalarınızda
3rd plural dilemmalarında dilemmalarında
Ablative Singular Plural
1st singular dilemmamdan dilemmalarımdan
2nd singular dilemmandan dilemmalarından
3rd singular dilemmasından dilemmalarından
1st plural dilemmamızdan dilemmalarımızdan
2nd plural dilemmanızdan dilemmalarınızdan
3rd plural dilemmalarından dilemmalarından
Genitive Singular Plural
1st singular dilemmamın dilemmalarımın
2nd singular dilemmanın dilemmalarının
3rd singular dilemmasının dilemmalarının
1st plural dilemmamızın dilemmalarımızın
2nd plural dilemmanızın dilemmalarınızın
3rd plural dilemmalarının dilemmalarının