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

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 ?
No studies to date have examined which areas of the ASCA ethical standards present the most common or the most challenging dilemmas, and whether these dilemmas vary across academic level.
In doing so, they will be helped to recognize this is not an "either/or" problem to solve, but a "both/and" dilemma to manage.
The Daily Dilemma also has a section for educators to send feedback to GoodCharacter via email about their discussions, or the reactions of students.
It was expected that students' scores on the dilemma with religious content would not be significantly lower than responses to the two dilemmas with secular content, when controlling for verbal ability.
The course should end on a practical note: turn to specific ethical dilemmas encountered in military life and service.
Promoting ethical action requires open dialogue and discourse on the thorny ethical dilemmas of our time.
There is a concept we use in strategic planning that helps managers evaluate the difference between a problem and a dilemma.
When playing a leadership role, he or she provides ample opportunities to others to experience ethical dilemmas through situational training opportunities, bringing financial people together with business associates from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.
Intermittently, the discussion encourages developing a subjective ethic based on personal values and virtues, and promotes truth to this ethic as a means of resolving design dilemmas.
This time around, though, it may well turn out to be tactical concerns--war is unleashed on Americans via hijacked planes, not ICBMs--rather than moral dilemmas that turn us against the scheme.
In a light-hearted, yet thorough, review, Jones examines the law enforcement subculture, the ethical dilemmas facing law enforcement officers, and the ethical decision-making process.
This scenario--at the center of the new season's fifth episode--is one of the many spicy dilemmas cooked up by executive producer and writer Peter Lefcourt for this comic but not-so-far-from-reality series set in the cutthroat world of the Hollywood television industry.
The paper draws on previous literature to highlight the importance of articulating principals' perceptions of dilemmas in their daily lives, and identifies typologies and categories of dilemmas.
Consequently, he is forced to confront the fact that he has constructed a series of false moral dilemmas in order to conceal the true tactical dilemma of how to reconcile his desire for Jennifer with his vision of himself as a moral man.