predicament

[pri-dik-uh-muh nt for 1, 3; pred-i-kuh-muh nt for 2]
See more synonyms for predicament on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. an unpleasantly difficult, perplexing, or dangerous situation.
  2. a class or category of logical or philosophical predication.
  3. Archaic. a particular state, condition, or situation.

Origin of predicament

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

Synonyms for predicament

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for predicament

Contemporary Examples of predicament

Historical Examples of predicament

  • He hoped to distract her from such grief over her predicament.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Soon she was to learn of Tillie's predicament, and to take up the cudgels valiantly for her.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • In this predicament the company turned to the Iowa legislature for protection.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • No one who was not a good sport could have grinned as Rawson did at his own predicament.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • No, never; the witness had never been in such a predicament.


British Dictionary definitions for predicament

predicament

noun
  1. a perplexing, embarrassing, or difficult situation
  2. (ˈprɛdɪkəmənt) logic obsolete one of Aristotle's ten categories of being
  3. 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
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