predicament

[ pri-dik-uh-muh nt for 1, 3; pred-i-kuh-muh nt for 2 ]
/ prɪˈdɪk ə mənt for 1, 3; ˈprɛd ɪ kə mənt for 2 /

noun

an unpleasantly difficult, perplexing, or dangerous situation.
a class or category of logical or philosophical predication.
Archaic. a particular state, condition, or situation.

Nearby words

  1. predeterminer,
  2. prediabetes,
  3. predial,
  4. prediastole,
  5. predicable,
  6. predicant,
  7. predicate,
  8. predicate adjective,
  9. predicate calculus,
  10. predicate nominative

Origin of predicament

1350–1400; 1580–90 for def 1; Middle English < Late Latin praedicāmentum something predicated, asserted, derivative of praedicāre. See predicate, -ment

SYNONYMS FOR predicament
1. Predicament, dilemma, plight, quandary refer to unpleasant or puzzling situations. Predicament and plight stress more the unpleasant nature, quandary and dilemma the puzzling nature of the situation. Predicament and plight are sometimes interchangeable; plight, however, though originally meaning peril or danger, is seldom used today except laughingly: When his suit wasn't ready at the cleaners, he was in a terrible plight. Predicament, though likewise capable of being used lightly, may also refer to a really crucial situation: Stranded in a strange city without money, he was in a predicament. Dilemma, in popular use, means a position of doubt or perplexity in which one is faced by two equally undesirable alternatives: the dilemma of a hostess who must choose between offending her anti-drinking guests or disappointing those who expected cocktails. Quandary is the state of mental perplexity of one faced with a difficult situation: There seemed to be no way out of the quandary.

Related formspre·dic·a·men·tal [pri-dik-uh-men-tl, pred-i-kuh-] /prɪˌdɪk əˈmɛn tl, ˌprɛd ɪ kə-/, adjectivepre·dic·a·men·tal·ly, adverb

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

Examples from the Web for predicament


British Dictionary definitions for predicament

predicament

/ (prɪˈdɪkəmənt) /

noun

a perplexing, embarrassing, or difficult situation
(ˈprɛdɪkəmənt) logic obsolete one of Aristotle's ten categories of being
archaic a specific condition, circumstance, state, position, etc

Word Origin for predicament

C14: from Late Latin praedicāmentum what is predicated, from praedicāre to announce, assert; see predicate

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 predicament

predicament

n.

early 15c., "category, class; one of Aristotle's 10 categories," from Medieval Latin predicamentum, from Late Latin praedicamentum "quality, category, something predicted, that which is asserted," from Latin praedicatus, past participle of praedicare (see predicate). Praedicamentum is a loan-translation of Greek kategoria, Aristotle's word. The meaning "unpleasant situation" is first recorded 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper