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[kwon-duh-ree, -dree] /ˈkwɒn də ri, -dri/
noun, plural quandaries.
a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do; dilemma.
1570-80; perhaps fancifully < Latin quand(ō) when + -āre infinitive suffix
Synonyms Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quandaries
  • In an ideal world, the answer to such quandaries would be elections to produce a new leadership with a clear mandate.
  • Both suffer familiar urban quandaries of frustration and decay.
  • These quandaries are inescapable in a large democracy, especially one that is a global hegemon.
  • The moral quandaries and bioethical concerns underlying these restrictions can't be dismissed.
  • The ability to insert any gene into any organism breaks natural barriers and creates new ethical quandaries.
  • These limitations pose difficult quandaries for people making reproductive decisions.
British Dictionary definitions for quandaries


/ˈkwɒndrɪ; -dərɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
a situation or circumstance that presents problems difficult to solve; predicament; dilemma
Word Origin
C16: of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Latin quandō when
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 quandaries



"state of perplexity," 1570s, of unknown origin, perhaps a quasi-Latinism based on Latin quando "when? at what time?; at the time that, inasmuch," pronomial adverb of time, related to qui "who" (see who). Originally accented on the second syllable.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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