A dilemma is a tough choice. When you're in a difficult situation and each option looks equally bad, you're in a dilemma.

Dilemma is from a Greek for "double proposition." It was originally a technical term of logic, but we use it now for any time you have a problem with no satisfactory solution. If you're at the mall choosing between red or blue socks, that's not really a dilemma. But if you have to choose whether to save your cat or your dog from a burning building, that's an awful dilemma.

Definitions of dilemma
  1. noun
    state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options
    synonyms: quandary
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    double bind
    (psychology) an unresolvable dilemma; situation in which a person receives contradictory messages from a person who is very powerful
    type of:
    trouble or confusion resulting from complexity
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