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3 definitions found

From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 di·lem·ma /dəˈlɛmə ||daɪ-/
 困境,進退兩難的局面

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Di·lem·ma n.
 1. Logic An argument which presents an antagonist with two or more alternatives, but is equally conclusive against him, whichever alternative he chooses.
 Note:The following are instances of the dilemma. A young rhetorician applied to an old sophist to be taught the art of pleading, and bargained for a certain reward to be paid when he should gain a cause. The master sued for his reward, and the scholar endeavored to elude his claim by a dilemma. “If I gain my cause, I shall withhold your pay, because the judge's award will be against you; if I lose it, I may withhold it, because I shall not yet have gained a cause.” “On the contrary,” says the master, “if you gain your cause, you must pay me, because you are to pay me when you gain a cause; if you lose it, you must pay me, because the judge will award it.”
 2. A state of things in which evils or obstacles present themselves on every side, and it is difficult to determine what course to pursue; a vexatious alternative or predicament; a difficult choice or position.
 A strong dilemma in a desperate case!
 To act with infamy, or quit the place.   --Swift.
 Horns of a dilemma, alternatives, each of which is equally difficult of encountering.
 

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 dilemma
      n : state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a
          choice between equally unfavorable options [syn: quandary]