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- A circumstance in which a choice must be made between two alternatives that seem equally undesirable.
- (non-standard) A difficult circumstance or problem.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Di*lem"ma (?), n. [L. dilemma,
Gr. &?;; di- = di`s- twice + &?; to take. See
Lemma.] 1. (Logic) An argument
which presents an antagonist with two or more alternatives, but is
equally conclusive against him, whichever alternative he
&fist; The following are instances of the dilemma. A young
rhetorician applied to an old sophist to be taught the art of
pleading, and bargained for a certain reward to be paid when he
should gain a cause. The master sued for his reward, and the scholar
endeavored to &?;lude his claim by a dilemma. "If I gain my
cause, I shall withhold your pay, because the judge's award will be
against you; if I lose it, I may withhold it, because I shall not yet
have gained a cause." "On the contrary," says the master, "if you
gain your cause, you must pay me, because you are to pay me when you
gain a cause; if you lose it, you must pay me, because the judge will
award it." Johnson.
2. A state of things in which evils or
obstacles present themselves on every side, and it is difficult to
determine what course to pursue; a vexatious alternative or
predicament; a difficult choice or position.
A strong dilemma in a desperate case! Swift.
Horns of a dilemma, alternatives, each of
which is equally difficult of encountering.
To act with infamy, or quit the place.
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
You arrived here by searching for Diemma
The correct spelling of this word ought to be: Dilemma
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