quandary

noun
quan·​da·​ry | \ ˈkwän-d(ə-)rē How to pronounce quandary (audio) \
plural quandaries

Definition of quandary

: a state of perplexity or doubt

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Synonyms for quandary

Synonyms

catch-22, dilemma, double bind

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Examples of quandary in a Sentence

Williams's quandary is not unlike that faced by other urban executives who have had to wrestle with a deeply rooted power structure. The problem is especially acute for African American mayors. They are expected to serve as sentries, protecting their cities' black communities and staving off so-called white encroachment. — Jonetta Rose Barras, Washington Post, 15 June 2003 For a sticky philosophical quandary, the questions are pretty simple: am I a clerk charged with selling college degrees or am I involved in a more meaningful experience? Part of me says that no argument is more worthy of my attention. — Lynne Drury Lerych, Newsweek, 9 Apr. 2001 … the inevitable economic quandary that faces a people in the transition from slavery to freedom, and especially those who make that change amid hate and prejudice, lawlessness and ruthless competition. — W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903 The unexpected results of the test have created a quandary for researchers. I'm in a quandary about whether I should try to repair my stereo or buy a new one, even though I don't have the money to do either.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For these people, the extended lines remain a quandary. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "Mona Lisa's New Location Leads to Hours-Long Waits at the Louvre," 15 Aug. 2019 Those like Stills in sports are forever in a quandary how to use their voice. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: What billionaire would Kenny Stills want closer to Trump than Steve Ross? | Commentary," 8 Aug. 2019 For those in the MPP program — where the newness of the policy combined with logistical complications are raising a multitude of legal quandaries — having an experienced attorney is even more crucial. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego nonprofit’s legal help a tiny dent in asylum aid needed," 28 July 2019 When putting in an offer on a new home, there's a nearly endless list of money quandaries to consider: Is your offer enough? Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "WATCH: The Best Tip for Getting an Offer Accepted on a House Has Nothing to Do with Money," 10 July 2019 This book can't help with those sorts of quandaries. Nneka Mcguire, Dallas News, "Do millennial women really need the book 'How to Skimm Your Life'? Give us more credit," 25 June 2019 How does this ethical quandary play into the film's developing story? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "I Am Mother envisions a dark future world where AI is almost human," 13 June 2019 Still, the results Sunday shed light on a quandary for the 27-year-old right-hander. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "After rough debut, Orioles' Kevin Gausman looking to attack Yankees on Friday night," 6 Apr. 2018 Our current machines are nowhere near sentient, yet the ethical quandaries around them are already starting to grow urgent. Sigal Samuel, Vox, "Is it wrong to be mean and racist to robots?," 2 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quandary.' 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 quandary

1579, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for quandary

origin unknown

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Statistics for quandary

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quandary

The first known use of quandary was in 1579

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More Definitions for quandary

quandary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quandary

formal : a situation in which you are confused about what to do

quandary

noun
quan·​da·​ry | \ ˈkwän-də-rē How to pronounce quandary (audio) , -drē\
plural quandaries

Kids Definition of quandary

: a state of doubt or confusion I was in a quandary about what to do.

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More from Merriam-Webster on quandary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quandary

Spanish Central: Translation of quandary

Nglish: Translation of quandary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quandary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on quandary

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