Definition of conundrum in English:


Line breaks: con¦un|drum
Pronunciation: /kəˈnʌndrəm

noun (plural conundrums)

1A confusing and difficult problem or question: one of the most difficult conundrums for the experts
More example sentences
  • Children with recurrent abdominal pain present a difficult conundrum for doctors.
  • For the environmentalists, there was no getting around this difficult conundrum.
  • Other than that, it can be something of a difficult ethical conundrum for somebody.
problem, difficult question, vexed question, difficulty, quandary, dilemma;
1.1A question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle.
More example sentences
  • Fortunately the answer to the conundrum came into reach as we shuffled along.
  • Later on he successfully puzzled over the riddles of some bawdy conundrums.
  • I can't seem to see a clear answer for this conundrum and therefore it sidetracks me and taunts me.


late 16th century: of unknown origin, but first recorded in a work by Thomas Nashe, as a term of abuse for a crank or pedant, later coming to denote a whim or fancy, also a pun. Current senses date from the late 17th century.

Definition of conundrum in: