pre·dic·a·ment | \pri-ˈdi-kə-mənt, 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

Here's my in-depth post today fully explaining the Heat's salary cap predicament, when and how Miami can bid for top free agents again, and what the Heat is trying to do about this quandary. Barry Jackson, miamiherald, "Heat signs a sharp-shooter who has impressed everyone this summer," 10 July 2018 But, Ghost's predicament aside, most of the story exists as a vehicle into which Reed, more comfortable with the scope of a film like this this time around, can jam as many gags, jokes and funny set pieces as possible. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Ant-Man and the Wasp' is goofy good fun, thanks to Paul Rudd," 3 July 2018 In an indication of Hamas’ precarious political and financial predicament, no meal was offered Friday, and buses transported protesters away from the border at the early hour of 6 p.m., about 90 minutes before the end of fasting. Hana Salah,, "Four more Palestinians, including a teenager, killed in Gaza protests. 'You cowards!' protester shouts at Israeli forces," 9 June 2018 So, are the Heat in such a place, and such a predicament, after a single playoff game? Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: How much of a Game 2 scheme adjustment is needed by the Heat?," 16 Apr. 2018 Even without Facebook’s current predicament, the history of big consumer tech companies dealing with medical data is not without blemish. David Meyer, Fortune, "Facebook Decides Now's Not a Great Time to Harvest Patients' Medical Data," 6 Apr. 2018 Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has turned down many proposals for a peaceful solution to Gaza’s predicament, for fear of seeming weak in the eyes of his right-wing supporters. The Economist, "The Palestinians in Gaza are once more bidding to burst out," 5 Apr. 2018 Several engine crews, medics and an urban search-and-rescue crew were involved in freeing the man from his predicament. Alex Riggins,, "Firefighters rescue man trapped in Mira Mesa chimney," 11 July 2018 But there was only person on the list who clearly might be able to help Trump out if his personal legal predicaments wind up before the Supreme Court – and in a funny coincidence, Brett Kavanaugh wound up being the nominee! Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "How Picking Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court Could Benefit Trump Personally," 10 July 2018

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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Statistics for predicament

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for predicament

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

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More Definitions for predicament



English Language Learners Definition of predicament

: a difficult or unpleasant situation


pre·dic·a·ment | \pri-ˈdi-kə-mənt \

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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