pre·​dic·​a·​ment | \ pri-ˈdi-kə-mənt How to pronounce predicament (audio) , sense 1 is usually ˈpre-di-kə- \

Definition of predicament

1 : the character, status, or classification assigned by a predication specifically : category sense 1
2 : condition, state especially : a difficult, perplexing, or trying situation

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web What’s next is an interesting offseason with a familiar predicament -- one that isn’t that much of a problem, really. Michael Casagrande |, al, "What’s next for a post-Tua Alabama offense? Breaking down the next chapter.," 6 Jan. 2020 The framers’ brainchild Many politicians lamented what the Constitution’s framers would think of the country’s current predicament. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The Tao of impeachment: The process is the point," 19 Dec. 2019 Many of them are worried about what happens to health care jobs in their community, putting some of the more liberal candidates in a bit of a predicament, considering the state’s outsized role in selecting the nominee. cleveland, "Wisconsin judge orders up to 234,000 voters purged from rolls: The Flyover," 16 Dec. 2019 Blough blamed himself for the Lions' predicament heading into halftime. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "The 56 seconds that cost Detroit Lions against the Minnesota Vikings," 8 Dec. 2019 As the adult Bow, Ross narrates the predicament that follows the government raid of the utopian community: Bow’s black mother and white father must now raise their three biracial children in the harsh world of mid-1980s suburban America. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "A Simplistic View of a Mixed-ish America," 26 Oct. 2019 Following holding and unsportsmanlike penalties that put the Bobcats in a third and 36 predicament, Purtell went around the left end and 90 yards later was in the end zone. Randy Mcroberts,, "Bel Air beats Havre de Grace to lead week three grid winners," 21 Sep. 2019 This predicament also underscores one of the reasons the Giants signed Bethea last offseason to a two-year contract. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "'That's when the true character comes out': How 35-year-old DB Antoine Bethea forges on in Giants' trying season," 10 Dec. 2019 The predicament was born of tragedy: Liza’s son, Gustav Åhr—known to friends and family as Gus, better known to the world as the emo rapper Lil Peep—had just died, of a drug overdose, at the age of twenty-one. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "The Terrence Malick–Lil Peep Connection," 9 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'predicament.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of predicament

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for predicament

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

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Time Traveler for predicament

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for predicament

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Predicament.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for predicament


How to pronounce predicament (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of predicament

: a difficult or unpleasant situation


pre·​dic·​a·​ment | \ pri-ˈdi-kə-mənt How to pronounce predicament (audio) \

Kids Definition of predicament

: a bad situation

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Comments on predicament

What made you want to look up predicament? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


experienced by way of someone else

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