a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives.
any difficult or perplexing situation or problem.
Logic. a form of syllogism in which the major premise is formed of two or more hypothetical propositions and the minor premise is a disjunctive proposition, as “If A, then B; if C then D. Either A or C. Therefore, either B or D.”.
These are tormenting dilemmas upon which mankind has throughout its history been so frequently impaled.
Mere logic he distrusted so deeply that its contradictions, dilemmas, antinomies were to him no arguments against a belief.
For the prosecution, the moral and legal dilemmas they faced were profound and daunting.
It is what to do with them if their hunting is curbed that presents the country with one of its biggest environmental dilemmas.
He'll be taking questions to solve whatever doggie dilemmas you might be facing.
But several also argue that it raises fresh dilemmas.
Scientists, too, need to be aroused and creative if they are to come up with new solutions to pressing dilemmas.
Three new short-story collections tell modern tales of midlife crises and motherhood dilemmas.
Today, the moral dilemmas facing these characters are obsolete.
Engineers will have no choice but to confront these dilemmas, mainly by group action.
British Dictionary definitions for dilemmas
a situation necessitating a choice between two equal, esp equally undesirable, alternatives
a problem that seems incapable of a solution
(logic) a form of argument one of whose premises is the conjunction of two conditional statements and the other of which affirms the disjunction of their antecedents, and whose conclusion is the disjunction of their consequents. Its form is if p then q and if r then s; either p or r so either q or s
on the horns of a dilemma
faced with the choice between two equally unpalatable alternatives
1520s, from L.L. dilemma, from Gk. dilemma "double proposition," a technical term in rhetoric, from di- "two" + lemma "premise, anything received or taken," from root of lambanein "to take" (see analemma). It should be used only of situations where someone is forced to choose between two alternatives, both unfavorable to him. But even logicians disagree on whether certain situations are dilemmas or mere syllogisms.
in syllogistic, or traditional, logic, any one of several forms of inference in which there are two major premises of hypothetical form and a disjunctive ("either . . . or") minor premise. For example:
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