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trilemma

[trahy-lem-uh] /traɪˈlɛm ə/
noun
1.
a situation, analogous to a dilemma, in which there are three almost equally undesirable alternatives:
His trilemma consisted in not knowing whether to acknowledge receipt, deny it, or simply leave.
2.
Logic. a form of argument in which three choices are presented, each of which is indicated to have consequences that may be unfavorable.
Origin
1665-1675
1665-75; tri- + (di)lemma
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for trilemma
  • Health is an area where the trilemma clearly applies.
  • In order to think this through one has to return to the trilemma.
British Dictionary definitions for trilemma

trilemma

/traɪˈlɛmə/
noun
1.
a quandary posed by three alternative courses of action
2.
an argument one of the premises of which is the disjunction of three statements from each of which the same conclusion is derived
Word Origin
C17: formed on the model of dilemma, from tri- + Greek lēmma assumption
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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