quan·​da·​ry ˈkwän-d(ə-)rē How to pronounce quandary (audio)
plural quandaries
: a state of perplexity or doubt

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The rabbi walked through Jewish teachings that applied to the ethical quandary and conferred with other experts, penning a set of recommendations called the Vienna Protocol. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2024 But the song also presents cultural quandaries along with moral ones. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for quandary 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quandary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quandary was in 1579

Dictionary Entries Near quandary

Cite this Entry

“Quandary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quandary. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


quan·​da·​ry ˈkwän-d(ə-)rē How to pronounce quandary (audio)
plural quandaries
: a state of confusion or doubt : dilemma
in a quandary about which to choose

More from Merriam-Webster on quandary

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