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The primary meaning of dilemma (spelled with one l and two ms) is “a situation in which a person faces a choice between two equally unattractive courses of action.”

  • Sarah found herself faced with a dilemma: should she run down the street to warn Mr. Howard of the danger, leaving 4-year-old Tyler alone in the house; or should she stay home with the child and fail to help her elderly neighbour?

Dilemma is also used to mean “a serious predicament or difficult situation.”

  • Penniless and alone in Toronto, the young runaway could see no way out of his dilemma.