2. In logic, a form of reasoning that, though valid, leads to two undesirable selections: When George was trying to find at least three different definitions for each of the words that he was assigned to find for his English class, his dilemma was that the three dictionaries were giving the same results without any significant variations in contents from one to the other.
3. Etymology: from Late Latin dilemma, which came from Greek dilemma, "double proposition".
This is a technical term in rhetoric, from di-, "two" + lemma, "premise, anything received or taken" from the root of lambanein, "to take".
Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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Peggy dilemmas often about whether she should spend more money for unsuccessful psychiatric treatments for her depressions or just live with her unhappiness even though it could develop into a more serious neurotic disorder.