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

For me, that angry assessment of Fails’s predicament landed as powerful validation. Amy Alexander, Washington Post, "‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ captures the heartbreak and anger of people displaced by gentrification," 14 June 2019 His predicament is similar to that of Taylor Swift, whose political leanings or lack thereof have been the focus of much online speculation and suspicion. Dan Deluca,, "Do pop musicians hurt themselves when they refuse to take a political side? Exhibit A: Justin Timberlake," 29 Mar. 2018 His predicament is no doubt familiar to others once in the president’s inner circle. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "‘He knows he is done’: Veterans Affairs chief lays low amid rumors he’ll be ousted," 27 Mar. 2018 This team started 11-1; now matters have gotten so bad that Ken Rosenthal quoted Dave Matthews Band lyrics to describe their predicament. Jack Dickey,, "The New York Mets Could Try to Rebuild, But Why Would We Trust Them to Do That?," 11 June 2018 Her predicament goes from bad to worse when her husband very publicly leaves her. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "'Prada' sequel moves to Greenwich, Conn., bland land of athleisure wear," 5 June 2018 With his older sister Elisabeth and his brother James at odds, and his father making gaffes that deepened the predicament, Lachlan was the peacemaker. Sarah Ellison, The Seattle Times, "Younger Murdoch take the reins. How will he deal with Trump?," 25 Mar. 2019 The Bears, coming off their fourth consecutive double-digit-loss season, entered this draft in a familiar predicament, having more roster holes than draft picks. Rich Campbell,, "Bears left to address glaring edge-rush need on final day of draft," 27 Apr. 2018 When the Schutz controversy boiled over, Walker put up a series of public Instagram posts that referred obliquely to the younger artist’s predicament. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "‘Open Casket’ and the Question of Empathy," 28 Mar. 2017

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

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce predicament (audio) \

Kids Definition of predicament

: a bad situation

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Comments on predicament

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