predicament

predicament, dilemma, quandary, plight, scrape, fix, jam, pickle can all denote a situation from which one does or can extricate himself only with difficulty.
Predicament carries the implication that the situation constitutes a problem for those who are involved in it and may additionally imply lack of freedom to do what one wishes or finds essential for some reason, or it may imply deep perplexity as to ways out of the situation
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advice ... may be of such nature that it will be painful to reject and yet impossible to follow it; and in this predicament I conceive myself to be placed— Crabbe

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the predicament with which our civilization now finds itself confronted—the problem, namely, how to find healthy, happy leisure for all the working millions who are now being liberated by machines— L. P. Smith

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Dilemma applies to a situation which constitutes a predicament from which one can escape only by a choice of equally unpleasant or unsatisfactory alternatives
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faced with a dilemma: if they discard obsolete headings, the librarians may suffer; and if they do not discard them, the user may be penalized— Lawler

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Quandary differs from dilemma chiefly in its stress on puzzlement or perplexity; in fact, this implication is often so emphasized that the suggestion of a dilemma or an unavoidable choice between alternatives is lost or obscured
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he was in a quandary as to how he could keep his appointment

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all his quandaries terminated in the same catastrophe; a compromise— Disraeli

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The remaining words all definitely imply a difficulty, often a very disagreeable situation. Plight suggests an unfortunate, trying, or unhappy situation
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the plight in which the world finds itself today— Hobson

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the plight of the ten million forgotten men and women living at or below the destitution level— Crossman

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Scrape applies to a specific difficulty in which one is involved through one's own fault; often it suggests a being in disgrace or disfavor
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he escapes from trouble only to become idiotically conceited; and . . . plunges dementedly into a more ghastly scrape—Swinnerton

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Fix and jam are somewhat casual terms that stress involvement and entanglement from which extrication is difficult
Fix and jam are somewhat casual terms that stress involvement and entanglement from which extrication is difficult
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he will be in a fix if he doesn't settle his debts

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they get sick and it puts them in a jam and they end up under a pile of bills— Basso

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Pickle applies to a particularly distressing or sorry plight
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but when I was left ashore in Melbourne I was in a pretty pickle. I knew nobody, and I had no money— Shaw

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Analogous words: *state, situation, condition, posture: pass, pinch, strait, emergency, exigency, juncture

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • predicament — PREDICAMÉNT, predicamente, s.n. (log.) Categorie (de predicate 2). – Din fr. prédicament. Trimis de oprocopiuc, 08.04.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  PREDICAMÉNT s. v. categorie. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  predicamént s. n …   Dicționar Român

  • predicament — Predicament. s. m. Categorie. Terme de Logique. Ordre, rang, classe où l on range plusieurs choses de mesme nature. Il y a dix predicaments. la substance est le premier de tous les prédicaments. On dit, qu Un homme est en bon ou en mauvais… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • predicament — [prē dik′ə mənt, pridik′ə mənt] n. [ME < LL(Ec) praedicamentum < L praedicare: see PREACH] 1. a condition or situation, now specif. one that is difficult, unpleasant, embarrassing, or, sometimes, comical 2. Archaic CATEGORY (sense 2) SYN.… …   English World dictionary

  • prédicament — ⇒PRÉDICAMENT, subst. masc. PHILOS. [Chez Aristote] Synon. de catégorie (v. ce mot I A 1). Nous dirons que la continuité est quantitative ou qualitative, selon qu elle concourt ou qu elle ne concourt pas avec la mensurabilité; mais, en opposant… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Predicament — Pre*dic a*ment, n. [Cf. F. pr[ e]dicament, L. praedicamentum. See {Predicate}.] 1. A class or kind described by any definite marks; hence, condition; particular situation or state; especially, an unfortunate or trying position or condition. O… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • predicament — I noun adverse circumstances, adversity, angustiae, barrier, case, circumstance, complication, condition, conjuncture, corner, crisis, critical situation, danger, dangerous condition, difficultas, difficulty, dilemma, embarrassing position,… …   Law dictionary

  • predicament — (n.) late 14c., that which is asserted (a term in logic), from M.L. predicamentum, from L.L. praedicamentum quality, category, something predicted, from L. praedicatus, pp. of praedicare (see PREDICATE (Cf. predicate)), a loan translation of Gk.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • predicament — [n] difficult situation asperity, bad news*, bind*, Catch 22*, circumstance, clutch, condition, corner*, crisis, deadlock, deep water*, dilemma, drag*, emergency, exigency, fix*, hang up*, hardship, hole, hot water*, imbroglio, impasse, jam*,… …   New thesaurus

  • predicament — ► NOUN 1) a difficult situation. 2) Philosophy each of the ten categories in Aristotelian logic. ORIGIN originally in the sense «category», later «state of being»: from Latin praedicamentum something predicated …   English terms dictionary

  • predicament — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ awful, difficult, dire, terrible, worse ▪ Other companies are in an even worse predicament than ourselves. ▪ current, present …   Collocations dictionary

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