AskDefine | Define conundrum

Dictionary Definition

conundrum n : a difficult problem [syn: riddle, enigma, brain-teaser]

User Contributed Dictionary



Unknown 16th Century


  • /kəˈnʌn.dɹəm/


  1. A difficult question or riddle, especially one using a play on words in the answer.
    • 1816, Jane Austen, Emma, Vol. 1, Ch. 2
      “Why should I understand that, or anything else?” asked the girl. “Don’t bother my head by asking conundrums, I beg of you. Just let me discover myself in my own way.”
  2. A difficult choice or decision that must be made.
    • 2004 – Martha Stewart, statement read by Stewart before being sentenced to five months in prison.
      And while I am more concerned about the well-being of others than for myself, more hurt for them and for their losses than for my own, more worried for their futures than for the future of Martha Stewart the person, you are faced with a conundrum, a problem of monumental, to me, proportions.


difficult question or riddle
  • Danish: gåde , ordgåde
  • Finnish: arvoitus, pulma
  • German: Rätsel
difficult choice or decision
  • Danish: hovedbrud
  • Finnish: pulma

Extensive Definition

Conundrum may refer to:
In literature:
In other fields:
In general:
conundrum in Spanish: Acertijo
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