conundrum

[ kuh-nuhn-druh m ]
/ kəˈnʌn drəm /

noun

a riddle, the answer to which involves a pun or play on words, as What is black and white and read all over? A newspaper.
anything that puzzles.

Nearby words

  1. contuse,
  2. contused wound,
  3. contusion,
  4. contusive,
  5. conté,
  6. conurbation,
  7. conure,
  8. conus,
  9. conus arteriosus,
  10. conv.

Origin of conundrum

First recorded in 1590–1600; pseudo-L word of obscure origin

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conundrum


British Dictionary definitions for conundrum

conundrum

/ (kəˈnʌndrəm) /

noun

a riddle, esp one whose answer makes a play on words
a puzzling question or problem

Word Origin for conundrum

C16: of unknown origin

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

Word Origin and History for conundrum

conundrum

n.

1590s, Oxford University slang for "pedant," also "whim," etc., later (1790) "riddle, puzzle." Also spelled quonundrum. The sort of ponderous pseudo-Latin word that was once the height of humor in learned circles.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper