Why was clemency trending last week?


[kuh-nuhn-druh m] /kəˈnʌn drəm/
a riddle, the answer to which involves a pun or play on words, as What is black and white and read all over? A newspaper.
anything that puzzles.
Origin of conundrum
1590-1600; pseudo-L word of obscure origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conundrum
  • In this case, the conundrum is how to keep your water from freezing in the narrow tube between your pack and the mouthpiece.
  • Few movies have worked out that conundrum so powerfully, or so effectively dramatized the folly of judging by partial evidence.
  • Astronomers have proposed two solutions to this conundrum.
  • The only way out of this conundrum is to hypothesise some kind of catastrophe that brings an end to the universe.
  • Of course, our distant ancestors didn't see the conundrum faced by today's instrument makers.
  • There is a technological solution to this conundrum and it is called conductive thread.
  • Gee, hey, gee it's a gas to try to solve such a conundrum.
  • The evolutionary biologist has also used this historical data set to ponder the conundrum of grandmothers.
  • There is one moderately well established hypothesis that may facilitate solution to this apparent conundrum.
  • In fact, the fact that they are changeable and mutable is what brought me into this conundrum in the first place.
British Dictionary definitions for conundrum


a riddle, esp one whose answer makes a play on words
a puzzling question or problem
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for conundrum

1590s, Oxford University slang for "pedant," also "whim," etc., later (1790) "riddle, puzzle." Also spelled quonundrum. The sort of ponderous pseudo-Latin word that was once the height of humor in learned circles.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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