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[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/
an unpleasantly difficult, perplexing, or dangerous situation.
a class or category of logical or philosophical predication.
Archaic. a particular state, condition, or situation.
1350-1400; 1580-90 for def 1; Middle English < Late Latin praedicāmentum something predicated, asserted, derivative of praedicāre. See predicate, -ment
Related forms
[pri-dik-uh-men-tl, pred-i-kuh-] /prɪˌdɪk əˈmɛn tl, ˌprɛd ɪ kə-/ (Show IPA),
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for predicaments
  • And, having squarely faced the gravity of their predicaments, they also manage suffering well.
  • Those and other predicaments reflect the growing pains of public online education.
  • Many of the scheduling predicaments can be avoided with solid advising.
  • Informed journalism explains how academics situate today's human predicaments in the vastness of time and of space.
  • We are quick to blame adolescents for getting themselves into predicaments that adults believe could be easily avoided.
  • The main character gets himself into some pretty bad predicaments that generate a lot of laughs at his expense.
  • Tribes across the nation report similar predicaments.
  • Ultimately, each country presents its own set of tangled problems and predicaments, with no easy answers.
  • The sad irony of the predicaments facing newspapers today is that their troubles are not a function of loss of audience.
  • Occasionally he appeared slightly alarmed, which was only natural considering the predicaments in which he found himself.
British Dictionary definitions for predicaments


a perplexing, embarrassing, or difficult situation
(logic, obsolete) (ˈprɛdɪkəmənt). one of Aristotle's ten categories of being
(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 predicaments



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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