dilemma

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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

on the horns of a dilemma

unable to decide between two things because either could bring bad results Nonprofit groups are often caught on the horns of a dilemma – they have to satisfy their donors, but at the same time, they need to attract new donors.
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on

be on the horns of a dilemma

to be unable to decide which of two things to do because either could have bad results How can we decide which hospital to close? We are on the horns of a dilemma.
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

on the horns of a dilemma

Faced with two equally undesirable alternatives.
See also: dilemma, horn, of, on
References in periodicals archive ?
There are, however, other familiar dilemmatic stories, whose harmlessness might be more difficult to establish.
And should somebody keep insisting that I was, I of course could not fully convince them that I was free from dilemmatic anxiety.
Abortion is not a dilemmatic topic for Cardinal O'Connor or (presumably) for those who think that the Court made the right decision in Roe v.
Findings indicated that clients presented three pervasive dilemmatic themes of career in their talk: uncertainty versus certainty (i.
Most RN graduates reported that the types of action they felt capable of undertaking in dilemmatic situations included indentifying the moral aspects of nursing care, gathering relevant facts, using resources to clarify the issue, and clarifying and applying values to assess and resolve an ethical issue.
Facing such a condition, Bank Indonesia was confronted with the need to choose one from dilemmatic policies.
Foreign loans needed but dilemmatic and controversial
According to the Central Government, such regulations are not easy to draft, given that numerous factors have to be taken into account, including highly dilemmatic ones.
There are also several dilemmatic issues related to the demands of several provinces for a new status.
The problems of the banking sector became extremely dilemmatic due to clashes of interest in the allocation of funds.