dilemma

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be on the horns of a dilemma

To struggle to choose between two problematic or unappealing options. I'm really on the horns of a dilemma here: do I say no to this great job opportunity, or do I accept it and move away from my family?
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

on the horns of a dilemma

Struggling to choose between two problematic or unappealing options. I'm really on the horns of a dilemma here: do I say no to this great job opportunity, or do I accept it and move away from my family?
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

the horns of a dilemma

Two problematic or unappealing options that one must choose between. I'm really on the horns of a dilemma here: do I say no to this great job opportunity, or do I accept it and move away from my family?
See also: dilemma, horn, of

on the horns of a dilemma

Fig. having to decide between two things, people, etc. Mary found herself on the horns of a dilemma. She didn't know which to choose. I make up my mind easily. I'm not on the horns of a dilemma very often.
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

horns of a dilemma, on the

Faced with two equally undesirable alternatives. For example, I'm on the horns of a dilemma: if I sell the house now I have no place to live, but if I wait I may not get as good a price . This term was first recorded about 1600, but the idea of being caught on either one horn or the other (of an animal) was already expressed in Roman times.
See also: horn, of, on

the horns of a dilemma

If you are on the horns of a dilemma, you have to make a difficult choice between two alternatives. I find myself on the horns of a dilemma — whichever option I take, I'm going to disappoint someone. The police were on the horns of a dilemma. The girl appeared to be telling the truth, but it was her word against that of three officials. Note: In logic, a dilemma is a situation where an argument leads to two choices which are both undesirable. In the Middle Ages, a dilemma was traditionally represented as an animal with two horns such as a bull.
See also: dilemma, horn, of

on the horns of a dilemma

faced with a decision involving equally unfavourable alternatives.
A mid 16th-century source described a dilemma as ‘a horned argument’ (after Latin argumentum cornutum ), the idea being that if you avoided one ‘horn’ of the argument you ended up impaled on the other.
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

(on) the horns of a diˈlemma

(in) a situation in which you must make a choice between things which are equally unpleasant: I’m really on the horns of a dilemma. I need the car but I can’t afford it.
See also: dilemma, horn, of

on the horns of a dilemma

Faced with two equally undesirable alternatives.
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Gratian, moral dilemmas are genuine features of moral reality, and the appropriate response for the agent is to choose the lesser of the two evils.
Because of the direct relationship of The Doctor's Dilemma to Ibsen's drama, Shaw's Quintessence of Ibsenism (1891) is particularly relevant in this context, for it provides the most extensive commentary on the nature of drama that Shaw wrote outside of his plays themselves.
Bipolar disorder participants made more risky choices for increased gains in response to the positively framed dilemmas and took a longer time to decide in favor of risk-averse choices.
Dilemmas played a prominent role in the supervisors' transformation throughout the PLC meetings.
The DIT consists of six dilemmas, each accompanied by 12 items for a total of 72 items for the entire test.
The purpose of this study was to examine SACs' level of moral reasoning as related to ethical dilemmas.
In the basic dilemmas the amplitude of the interval that forms the two values involved in G also equals the amount involved in S.
Bryant (2003, 2007) claimed that in negotiation, if faced with a dilemma, a negotiator may respond in four ways to it, whatever the dilemma is: (1) by changing position; (2) by amending preferences for the possible outcomes; (3) by denying that the dilemmas exist or (4) by taking irreversible unilateral action.
I argue that there is a subjective, experiential component to moral dilemmas.
Currently, little empirical evidence is available on the ethical dilemmas faced by school counselors.
Nevertheless, Gordon's stirring vision of the performer as a gothic hero driven to transcend his or her dilemmas by a profound sense of vocation, is admirably balanced by an emphasis on the positive aspects of a lifetime enriched through dedication to artistic distinction and an over-all ethic of public service.
I appreciate Nathan Glazer's taking the time to review my book, Color-mute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School (book review, Winter 2006).
Contemporary psychological research on social dilemmas.
Very strongly recommended reading, Copyright Catechism: Practical Answers To Everyday School Dilemmas by Carol Simpson (Associate Professor in the School of Library and Information Sciences at the University of North Texas) is the an invaluable addition to library systems of elementary and high-schools.