a situation, analogous to a dilemma, in which there are three almost equally undesirable alternatives: His trilemma consisted in not knowing whether to acknowledge receipt, deny it, or simply leave.
Logic. a form of argument in which three choices are presented, each of which is indicated to have consequences that may be unfavorable.
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How to use trilemma in a sentence
trilemma, trī-lem′a, n. a dilemmatic syllogism with three alternative propositions.
But the dilemma (whose unfortunate inspiration he owes to Kant) does not hold, it is a case of a trilemma.Historical materialism and the economics of Karl Marx | Benedetto Croce
But the thing is a trilemma, and the third horn, on which I elect to be placed, is surmounted by a doubly-stuffed seat.A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II) | Augustus de Morgan
Our inevitable outlook was a trilemma—either enlarged receipts, or retrenchment, or debt.
British Dictionary definitions for trilemma
a quandary posed by three alternative courses of action
an argument one of the premises of which is the disjunction of three statements from each of which the same conclusion is derived
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