a situation which makes problems, often one in which you have to make a very difficult choice between things of equal importancesynonympredicamentto face a dilemmato be in a dilemma
Word Originearly 16th cent. (denoting a form of argument involving a choice between equally unfavourable alternatives): via Latin from Greekdilēmma, from di-
.Extra examplesI could see no way of resolving this moral dilemma.I couldn’t see any way out of the dilemma.She faced a dilemma about whether to accept the offer or not.The dilemma facing the country’s allies was even more serious.The dilemma over human cloning lies at the heart of the ethical choices facing society.The fundamental dilemma remains: in a tolerant society, should we tolerate intolerance?The minister is now in an impossible dilemma.They were caught in a real dilemma.This poses a difficult dilemma for teachers.the dilemma that arises when a doctor has to decide whether or not to prescribe an expensive treatmentthe perennial dilemma between getting on at work and fulfilling family commitmentsthe perennial dilemma between work and family commitmentsThe dire economic situation had placed the prime minister on the horns of a dilemma.Idioms
in a situation in which you have to make a choice between things that are equally unpleasantThe medical profession’s eagerness for scientific advance had impaled it on the horns of a dilemma, forcing an unnatural choice between science and morality.