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 ?
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.