Definition of quandary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkwɒnd(ə)ri/

noun (plural quandaries)

1A state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation: Kate was in a quandary
More example sentences
  • Such drastic tactics may be warranted, according to Horne, because the current situation is putting drug agencies in a quandary.
  • Jones has found that we are currently in a quandary comparable to that of the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass: we have to run faster and faster just to stay in the same place.
  • But it has left many life assurers in a quandary, wondering whether to continue backing IFAs or enter into multi-tied agreements.
dilemma, plight, predicament, state of uncertainty, state of perplexity, unfortunate situation, difficult situation, awkward situation;
trouble, muddle, mix-up, mare's nest, mess, confusion, difficulty, impasse, stalemate;
British  cleft stick
informal sticky situation, pickle, hole, stew, fix, bind, jam
1.1A difficult situation; a practical dilemma: a legal quandary
More example sentences
  • Procedures include applying frameworks and principles for ethical decision making and are important in situations of conflict or mistrust when we are faced with dilemmas or quandaries in practice.
  • Such an approach not only allows the authors to discuss the work from many different angles, but allows them to do so without implying that the practical quandaries in The Angel of History can be reduced to a simple meaning.
  • A procedural approach is useful and sometimes necessary when a person is faced with a quandary or dilemma.


Late 16th century: perhaps partly from Latin quando 'when'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: quan|dary

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