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

The executive order President Trump signed on Wednesday to end the administration’s policy, after all, does not address the predicament of the over 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "Could genetic testing help reunite separated immigrant families? It’s complicated," 21 June 2018 Overall, however, the novel is about the common predicament of being human. Emily Bernard, The New Republic, "Zora Neale Hurston’s drive to tell the story of the slave trade’s last survivor," 19 June 2018 Not only are the symptoms unpleasant, but many women find themselves in the predicament of not yet feeling comfortable telling everyone what’s going on. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Claire Danes Kept Nodding Off On the Set of ‘Homeland’ During Her First Trimester," 24 Apr. 2018 The 150-pound bear was in quite the predicament last week in the Roseau area when officers with the state's Department of Natural Resources tried to free him. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Minnesota firefighters rescue bear after his head gets trapped in milk jug," 12 Sep. 2018 Earlier, the Nets agreed to trade Jeremy Lin to Atlanta, clearing up the Nets’ logjam at point guard while sending the 29-year-old Harvard product to another team in the same predicament., "Knee surgery scheduled for Lonzo Ball," 14 July 2018 Shalom Blanc, a YouTuber and burn survivor, had the same predicament — but hers goes a little bit deeper., "This Burn Survivor Is Showing Off Her Scars To The World – & YouTube Is Rejoicing," 7 June 2018 In short order, Klontz determined the client needed a physical presentation, rather than a pile of spreadsheets, to understand the predicament. Tom Roland, Billboard, "Flood, Bumstead And the Country Artist's Conflict: Seeking Wealth While Singing About Poverty," 3 Apr. 2018 Donald Trump and His Lawyers Are Bungling the Stormy Daniels Story in Spectacular Fashion Photo Illustration/Getty Images Michael Cohen has talked his way into quite the predicament. Jay Willis, GQ, "Donald Trump and His Lawyers Are Bungling the Stormy Daniels Story in Spectacular Fashion," 12 Mar. 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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Last Updated

3 Dec 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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