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 Ferguson's predicament also has weighed heavily on some Kilpatrick supporters. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson seeks prison release: Mayor got out, so should I," 30 Mar. 2021 This struggle is at the center of Poland’s current political predicament. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Historians Under Attack for Exploring Poland’s Role in the Holocaust," 26 Mar. 2021 Panthers owner David Tepper was fanboying Deshaun Watson, but given Watson’s current predicament, his enthusiasm has probably waned. oregonlive, "NFL mock draft 2021 (2.0): Oregon’s Penei Sewell selected at No. 5 to the Bengals; quarterbacks dominate early picks and a couple of trades," 26 Mar. 2021 Despite being a Democrat himself, Lozano placed the blame on Biden’s immigration policies for his town’s predicament. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "'Slap in the face': Democratic mayor at border blames Biden for crisis in his city, saying unlawful entry is 'condoned'," 22 Mar. 2021 To explain the modern predicament, Greene fingers an unexpected villain. Washington Post, "Why are our debates about rights so toxic?," 19 Mar. 2021 Cummings said the predicament that has dominated the past several weeks for Homewood stem from that lawsuit, but the village settled in the interest of maintaining some control. Bill Jones,, "Homewood says no to rezoning Calumet Country Club, but developer vows to pursue logistics park project," 10 Mar. 2021 Recognizing the predicament, Mitchell cut hard diagonally across the lane to the free-throw line, bringing Doutrive with him. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, "3 thoughts: No. 22 SDSU 62, Boise State 58 ... Mitchell’s savvy, keeping the lead and a new Lobos coach," 28 Feb. 2021 Still, those who think the U.S. should provide more support for domestic chip production to reduce overreliance on Asia and fend off China’s rising clout say the current predicament offers a chance to press for those longer-term needs. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Chip Makers Applaud Biden’s Catch-Up Effort but See No Quick Fix," 25 Feb. 2021

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Predicament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce predicament (audio) \

Kids Definition of predicament

: a bad situation

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Comments on predicament

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