Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “dilemma”


noun [C]  /dɪˈlem·ə, dɑɪ-/ us  
a situation in which a choice has to be made between possibilities that will all have results you do not want: The dilemma was over how to protect a charming little island and at the same time allow economic development on it.
(Definition of dilemma from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of dilemma?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Difficult situations and unpleasant experiences, but you might be interested in these topics from the Easy and difficult topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “dilemma” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a small company that makes beer, usually using traditional methods, and often has a restaurant where its beer is served

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More