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English definition of “cleft stick”

cleft stick

noun uk   UK us  
be in a cleft stick to be in a situation where it is very difficult to decide what to do, usually because both of your two choices of action would cause problems: UN troops are in a cleft stick: something has to be done for the civilian population, yet to retaliate would surely be the spark to ignite all-out war.
(Definition of cleft stick from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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