pre·​dic·​a·​ment pri-ˈdi-kə-mənt How to pronounce predicament (audio)
 sense 1 is usually  ˈpre-di-kə-
: the character, status, or classification assigned by a predication
specifically : category sense 1
: condition, state
especially : a difficult, perplexing, or trying situation

Examples of predicament in a Sentence

The captain of archers fidgeted and coughed and rolled his eyes at his men, as if such cupidity and dishonor were an inevitable but minor aspect of the human predicament Michael Chabon, New York Times Magazine, 6 May 2007
We saw photographs that week of buildings burning, stunned onlookers, dust-covered firemen. Very few pictures conveyed the fact that people just like us, our fellow passengers on the subway, suddenly found themselves in a mortal predicament and many died horribly. Garrison Keillor, New York Times Book Review, 3 Sept. 2006
The President found himself in the backwash of earlier deals, and the demands of secrecy made his predicament the more vexing. Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters, 1988
The governor has gotten himself into quite a predicament. I don't know how to get out of the predicament I'm in.
Recent Examples on the Web The predicament makes her dating life complicated and ironically, a man who is deathly afraid of all dogs is the only person who can free her from this lifelong predicament. Patrick Frater, Variety, 19 Sep. 2023 Men in both job predicaments were twice as likely to have heart disease compared with men who did not experience the two stressors simultaneously. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 19 Sep. 2023 For years, those who wanted to keep their cash safe and accessible were in a predicament. Steve Garmhausen,, 15 Sep. 2023 With or without Western partnership, Ukraine would face the same predicament: an adversary that does not accept the existence of the Ukrainian nation or the legitimacy of Ukrainian culture or Ukrainian language, and that has given itself license to attack civilians—with horrific consequences. Liana Fix, Foreign Affairs, 12 Sep. 2023 Each day of advent unlocks the key to getting out of the predicament, leading closer to their final goal of saving Christmas. Nicole Pyles, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Sep. 2023 The Rangers are in this predicament not because the offense has glided back to earth but because of a story as old as the organization itself: lack of pitching development. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2023 Salvado, who did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment, seemed to agree with Willis that Floyd’s lack of knowledge of the criminal justice system contributed to his predicament. Chris Joyner, ajc, 29 Aug. 2023 The Arizona Cardinals are in a predicament at quarterback entering the 2023 season with Kyler Murray sidelined because of injury. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'predicament.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Late Latin praedicamentum, from praedicare — see predicate entry 2

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of predicament was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near predicament

Cite this Entry

“Predicament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pre·​dic·​a·​ment pri-ˈdik-ə-mənt How to pronounce predicament (audio)
: a difficult, puzzling, or trying situation : fix

More from Merriam-Webster on predicament

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