dilemma


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to dilemma: False dilemma, Moral dilemma

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 ?
With this definition in place one can then pose the first question of moral dilemma theory, namely: are moral dilemmas possible?
Yet if Thomas did exclude the possibility of a true moral dilemma--a dilemma simpliciter in medieval terms--he accepted as fact that one might face what he called a dilemma in a qualified sense--secundum quid.
It is a social dilemma because each individual gains more by defecting regardless of what the other person does, but they will both be better off if they both cooperate," Daniel Balliet, the lead author, said.
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.
As a producer, engineer, songwriter, and composer, Dilemma currently works out of the legendary Sigma Sound, home of music icons such as the O'Jays, Patti Labelle, and Billy Joel, just to name a few.
When the dilemmas were couched in terms of gains, the shift between risk-averse and risk-seeking choices was significantly reduced in the bipolar disorder participants compared with the controls.
Reframing also occurred when Kevin brought a dilemma of practice related to engaging in a discussion with two of his prospective teachers about their attitude toward the African American boys in their classroom.
Stakeholders are asked to comment on the significance of each theme as well as suggest additional dilemmas for business.
In each basic dilemma, a situation is proposed to the individual in which he or she must choose between either a course of action with a Secure result (s; "A" in Figure]) or a course of action that conveys a situation of uncertainty called the Game (G; "B" in Figure 1).
I shall argue that there is a normative component to one's being in a dilemma.
It would seem from the focus of the literature that the primary ethical dilemma for school counselors is student confidentiality.
Based on actual events, Joseph s Dilemma traces the wrenching dilemma of a young man caught between his Amish past, his love for a woman, and an unknown future.
He was part of the syndicate which owned Moaning Lad when he won the Derby for Theo Mentzis and, with his son Andy and the family, owned Dilemmas Flight when she won the Oaks for Nick Savva and both Kens Dilemma and Dilemmas Lad when they won their St Legers.
Local stakes winner Dilemma faces two colts with flashy numbers in Saturday's Hollywood Prevue Stakes, a steppingstone to next month's Hollywood Futurity -- and often a springboard to bigger things in the spring.