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quandary

[kwon-duh-ree, -dree]
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noun, plural quan·da·ries.
  1. a state of perplexity or uncertainty, especially as to what to do; dilemma.
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Origin of quandary

1570–80; perhaps fancifully < Latin quand(ō) when + -āre infinitive suffix

Synonyms for quandary

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for quandary

predicament, dilemma, embarrassment, puzzle, uncertainty, impasse, difficulty, plight, bewilderment, clutch, strait, spot, doubt, hang-up, bind, perplexity, corner, pickle, mire, catch-22

Examples from the Web for quandary

Contemporary Examples of quandary

Historical Examples of quandary

  • It was his mate who relieved him from the quandary in which he found himself.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • The less he teaches and insists on facts and details, the greater his quandary.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • As a matter of fact, he told himself, he was in something of a quandary.

    Pagan Passions

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Had she said the Pritchards, Elsie would have been in a quandary; as it was, her face brightened.

  • I confessed myself in as black a quandary as ever man experienced.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro


British Dictionary definitions for quandary

quandary

noun plural -ries
  1. a situation or circumstance that presents problems difficult to solve; predicament; dilemma
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Word Origin for quandary

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper