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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.
Origin of quandary
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 quandary
  • These abstruse works are nevertheless worth the effort, giving a unique spin on the quandary of living in an inexplicable world.
  • He is in a quandary or quite confused.
  • We have long been in a quandary over a name for the boat.
  • Investors are in a quandary because no one knows how the stock market will behave this summer.
  • It's a quandary that I don't have the answer to.
  • But here again we are caught in a quandary of our own making.
  • The plot examines the quandary of how to go about finding out who we really are when the rug is pulled from under us.
  • The discovery helps to clear up a quandary.
  • We are in a horrible moral quandary.
  • She is soon thrust into a series of deceptions and a perilous quandary.
British Dictionary definitions for quandary


/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 quandary

"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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