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quandary

[kwon-duh-ree, -dree] /ˈkwɒn də ri, -dri/
noun, plural quandaries.
1.
a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do; dilemma.
Origin of quandary
1570-1580
1570-80; perhaps fancifully < Latin quand(ō) when + -āre infinitive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for quandary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He did not mean to find himself in a quandary when they were ready to turn back again, and not be able to say where the camp lay.

    Storm-Bound Alan Douglas
  • Having captured their men, they were somewhat in a quandary how to keep them.

  • I was here placed in a quandary—no boat to take us across the river, and no provisions for our party to take into the mountains.

  • But when Winton next came up to Bury Street, she was in a quandary.

    Beyond John Galsworthy
  • We doubt whether ever resurrectionist felt himself in such a quandary.

British Dictionary definitions for quandary

quandary

/ˈkwɒndrɪ; -dərɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
1.
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
n.

"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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