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

Establishing some policies to keep accounts open during an investigation is one way to deal with the quandary. Mara Lemos Stein, WSJ, "Banks’ Sharing of Financial Crime Data Raises Questions on Ethics," 10 Sep. 2018 Apple appears to be avoiding this particular legal quandary. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Apple blocks its gay pride watch face in Russia," 31 Aug. 2018 This quandary is all the more unsettling because its object happens to be the body of a pregnant woman. New York Times, "In Knausgaard’s ‘Spring,’ a Man Considers How Best to Help His Sick Wife," 6 July 2018 That’s because Halloween is obviously the best holiday of the year, which leaves me in a bit of a quandary for November. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Everything coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now in November," 28 Oct. 2018 Expect to deal with warring factions, difficult moral quandaries, and hard choices over what gear to wear. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The 40 games we can’t wait to play in 2019," 26 Dec. 2018 The Trump era has changed that, and exposed a real philosophical quandary: What do institutions dedicated to protecting an open society do when faced with the forces of illiberalism? Nicole Hemmer, Vox, "Ex-Trump staffers should not get plum jobs at elite universities," 24 July 2018 This is the quandary facing many biotech companies that specialize in synthesizing or printing DNA. Justin Chen, STAT, "In the age of mail-order DNA, a firm seeks to increase safety without slowing progress," 6 July 2018 The rates pose an unexpected quandary for both parties in the final sprint to the November midterm elections. Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, "Price of Obamacare Insurance Plans Takes Surprise Drop," 11 Oct. 2018

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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Learn More about quandary

Statistics for quandary

Last Updated

18 Mar 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

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