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The meaning and origin of the expression: In a quandary

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In a quandary

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Meaning

Faced with a dilemma - perplexed and uncertain what to do.

Origin

A quandary is simply a dilemma or state of extreme uncertainty. The word is now little used, apart from in the phrase in a quandary. This came in to use in the 16th century; for example, in John Lyly's Euphues, the anatomy of wyt, 1579:

"Euphues ... departed, leaving this olde gentleman in a great quandarie."