no-win situation


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

no-win situation

A problem that has no ideal solution. In this day and age, most political candidates find themselves in a no-win situation when it comes to pleasing all of their constituents. If I leave for work now, I'm going to be stuck sitting in traffic, and if I wait until the traffic clears, I'm going to be late. It's a no-win situation.
See also: situation

no-win situation

a situation where there is no correct or satisfactory solution. The general was too weak to fight and too proud to surrender. It was a no-win situation. The huge dog my father gave us as a gift eats too much. If we get rid of the dog, my father will be insulted. If we keep it, we will go broke buying food for it. This is a classic no-win situation.
See also: situation

no-win situation

A situation certain to end in failure or disappointment, as in If the in-laws visit them or they visit the in-laws, either way they see it as a no-win situation . [c. 1960]
See also: situation

no-win situation

n. a situation in which there is no hope of success. I find myself in a no-win situation again.
See also: situation

no-win situation, a

A condition in which none can benefit or succeed; an impasse. Originating in America about 1960, presumably it originally referred to such a military situation and was soon extended to other kinds of hostile encounter. A 1962 article in The Economist stated, “He recommended an agreement . . . a ‘no-win’ approach, in fact, ‘an accommodation with tyranny.’”
References in periodicals archive ?
"This is a classic example of a no-win situation," Obama told hundreds of journalists gathered in Chicago for the UNITY convention for journalists of color.
It's a no-win situation. You can either have people go crazy and eventually get sued and lose your club or you keep everyone standing still and not moving--so you can keep your club but no one's happy.
"THE ONE IS REMEMBERING HOW WE GOT STUCK IN A NO-WIN SITUATION IN VIETNAM."
This is a no-win situation. Keep your temper under control and deal with controversy by providing facts and statistics to support your statements.
Themes of friendship, peer pressure, and family are woven throughout the main plot as Kelsey tries to find a graceful exit from a no-win situation. Michele Winship, Asst.
Unauthorized procedures caused a no-win situation during this sortie.
It appears at first to be a no-win situation. The youth did not have a chance.
The CEO countered anyhow and walked right into a no-win situation. He flogged the COO regularly for the next six months, until the latter fled to a less desirable job.
The estate could then find itself in a no-win situation. Since presumably the buy-sell agreement would still be valid and enforceable, the estate would receive a certain amount for the deceased shareholder's stock.
The shareholders remained true to Mavrodi no matter what he did to them, but for the government it was a no-win situation: If Mavrodi were to prevail, no entrepreneur would feel obliged to pay taxes, and the government would be compelled to compensate shareholders in any company for any fall in share prices.
But, he figured, they would only face the same no-win situation. The base chief let it go.
The result is a no-win situation for the Government.
"It's a no-win situation and the cost of doing business by these regulations has yet to be determined," he said.
Programmers, on the other hand, complain that they're in a no-win situation. Software is continually modified as it evolves, often to meet demands for new features to make the product more competitive.