predicament

[pri-dik-uh-muhnt for 1, 3; pred-i-kuh-muhnt for 2]
noun
1.
an unpleasantly difficult, perplexing, or dangerous situation.
2.
a class or category of logical or philosophical predication.
3.
Archaic. a particular state, condition, or situation.

Origin:
1350–1400; 1580–90 for def 1; Middle English < Late Latin praedicāmentum something predicated, asserted, derivative of praedicāre. See predicate, -ment

predicamental [pri-dik-uh-men-tl, pred-i-kuh-] , adjective
predicamentally, adverb


1. Predicament, dilemma, plight, quandary refer to unpleasant or puzzling situations. Predicament and plight stress more the unpleasant nature, quandary and dilemma the puzzling nature of the situation. Predicament and plight are sometimes interchangeable; plight however, though originally meaning peril or danger, is seldom used today except laughingly: When his suit wasn't ready at the cleaners, he was in a terrible plight. Predicament though likewise capable of being used lightly, may also refer to a really crucial situation: Stranded in a strange city without money, he was in a predicament. Dilemma in popular use, means a position of doubt or perplexity in which one is faced by two equally undesirable alternatives: the dilemma of a hostess who must choose between offending her anti-drinking guests or disappointing those who expected cocktails. Quandary is the state of mental perplexity of one faced with a difficult situation: There seemed to be no way out of the quandary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To predicament
Collins
World English Dictionary
predicament (prɪˈdɪkəmənt)
 
n
1.  a perplexing, embarrassing, or difficult situation
2.  obsolete logic one of Aristotle's ten categories of being
3.  archaic a specific condition, circumstance, state, position, etc
 
[C14: from Late Latin praedicāmentum what is predicated, from praedicāre to announce, assert; see predicate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

predicament
late 14c., "that which is asserted" (a term in logic), from M.L. predicamentum, from L.L. prædicamentum "quality, category, something predicted," from L. prædicatus, pp. of prædicare (see predicate), a loan-translation of Gk. kategoria, Aristotle's word.
The meaning "unpleasant situation" is first recorded 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
That's a tough predicament, and many likely face a dilemma.
It was hard to make his friend understand his predicament.
Our teacher perhaps magnifies his own predicament.
I'm worried that I may be in the exact same predicament as you very soon.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature