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

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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 So, various observers opine that the Fourth of July and Juneteenth present a quandary. Dallas News, 6 July 2021 That quandary, for him and many others in the medical profession, results from a law that went into effect in Florida this week. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, 3 July 2021 But in the meantime, inflationary periods present a quandary for investors. Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 28 June 2021 The quandary is leading to long-term questions about the tourism economy. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 14 June 2021 But many companies are still puzzling over a single quandary: What to do about vaccines. New York Times, 11 June 2021 Republicans faced a similar quandary during that 9/11 commission in 2004. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, 27 May 2021 Addressing the root causes of migration is one of several jobs President Joe Biden has handed Harris, who had no deep expertise with Latin America issues or the decades-long quandary of federal immigration reform. Christina Greer, Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 The quandary that Europe faces over how to react to the delta variant may recur as the virus continues to evolve, some scientists said. BostonGlobe.com, 5 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for quandary

Time Traveler

The first known use of quandary was in 1579

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Statistics for quandary

Last Updated

14 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quandary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quandary. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on quandary

Nglish: Translation of quandary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of quandary for Arabic Speakers

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