[ pri-dik-uh-muhnt for 1, 3; pred-i-kuh-muhnt for 2 ]
See synonyms for: predicamentpredicaments on

  1. an unpleasantly difficult, perplexing, or dangerous situation.

  2. a class or category of logical or philosophical predication.

  1. Archaic. a particular state, condition, or situation.

Origin of predicament

First recorded in 1350–1400; 1580–90 for def. 1; Middle English, from Late Latin praedicāmentum “something predicated, asserted,” derivative of praedicāre.See predicate, -ment

synonym study 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.

Other words from predicament

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

Words Nearby predicament Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use predicament in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for predicament


/ (prɪˈdɪkəmənt) /

  1. a perplexing, embarrassing, or difficult situation

  2. (ˈprɛdɪkəmənt) logic obsolete one of Aristotle's ten categories of being

  1. archaic a specific condition, circumstance, state, position, etc

Origin of 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