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 Oh resolved to stay in touch — and to help others in the same predicament. Greg Hanlon,, 7 Oct. 2021 Then, it was discovered that Sacramento-area students were in the same predicament. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2021 Nathan Adrian is facing the same predicament in the men's 50 free after failing to qualify in the 100. Paul Newberry, Star Tribune, 19 June 2021 Pham isn’t the only one in this predicament, according to records provided by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Aug. 2021 Biden and his team insist that little in their current predicament comes as a surprise. Kevin Liptak, Phil Mattingly And Jeff Zeleny, CNN, 20 July 2021 Certainly Netanyahu’s polarizing personality and his tendency to alienate many of his closest associates have played a significant role in his current predicament. Victoria Coates, National Review, 16 June 2021 Just how many teenagers are in this predicament remains unclear. NBC News, 23 May 2021 That’s what got many state and local pension funds into their current predicament in the first place. Ike Brannon, Forbes, 10 May 2021

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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The first known use of predicament was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Predicament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on predicament

Nglish: Translation of predicament for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of predicament for Arabic Speakers


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