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predicament

[pri-dik-uh-muh nt for 1, 3; pred-i-kuh-muh nt for 2] /prɪˈdɪk ə mənt for 1, 3; ˈprɛd ɪ kə mənt 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
1350-1400; 1580-90 for def 1; Middle English < Late Latin praedicāmentum something predicated, asserted, derivative of praedicāre. See predicate, -ment
Related forms
predicamental
[pri-dik-uh-men-tl, pred-i-kuh-] /prɪˌdɪk əˈmɛn tl, ˌprɛd ɪ kə-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
predicamentally, adverb
Synonyms
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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for predicament
  • 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.
  • Moreover, from the outset, the local media revels in the family's predicament.
  • Music changes shape to fit the predicament it finds itself in.
  • Considering your predicament, it sounds almost too good to be true.
  • It's an uncomfortable predicament for the policymakers of Frankfurt.
  • It's a tough decision, but a good predicament.
  • Newspaper and magazine editors sometimes responded to their predicament with biting humor.
British Dictionary definitions for predicament

predicament

/prɪˈdɪkəmənt/
noun
1.
a perplexing, embarrassing, or difficult situation
2.
(logic, obsolete) (ˈprɛdɪkəmənt). one of Aristotle's ten categories of being
3.
(archaic) a specific condition, circumstance, state, position, etc
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin praedicāmentum what is predicated, from praedicāre to announce, assert; see predicate
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 predicament
n.

early 15c., "category, class; one of Aristotle's 10 categories," from Medieval Latin predicamentum, from Late Latin praedicamentum "quality, category, something predicted, that which is asserted," from Latin praedicatus, past participle of praedicare (see predicate). Praedicamentum is a loan-translation of Greek kategoria, Aristotle's word. The meaning "unpleasant situation" is first recorded 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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