Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


1. A situation, especially an unpleasant, troublesome, or trying one, from which extrication is difficult.
2. Logic One of the basic states or classifications described by Aristotle into which all things can be placed; a category.

[Middle English, class, category, from Old French, from Late Latin praedicāmentum (translation of Greek katēgoriā, from katēgoreuein, to speak against, signify, predicate), from Latin praedicāre, to proclaim publicly, predicate; see preach.]

pre·dic′a·men′tal (-mĕn′tl) adj.
pre·dic′a·men′tal·ly adv.
Synonyms: predicament, plight1, quandary, jam1, fix, pickle
These nouns refer to a difficult situation that has no readily discernible resolution or way out. A predicament is a problematic situation about which one does not know what to do: "The wrenching predicament for conservation biologists is that endangered species reach the point of no return before their numbers fall to zero" (Cynthia Mills).
A plight is a bad or unfortunate situation: "All he desires is to escape from his plight" (J.R.R. Tolkien).
A quandary is a state of perplexity, especially about what course of action to take: "Having captured our men, we were in a quandary how to keep them" (Theodore Roosevelt).
The words jam and fix are more informal and refer to a predicament from which escape is difficult: "The only way to be certain he will not get into some sort of a jam is to put a chain around his neck and lead him around like a performing bear" (Jack Dempsey)."Here was one murder defendant ... who did not like to joke about the fix he was in" (Robert Traver).
Another informal term, a pickle is a disagreeable, embarrassing, or troublesome predicament: "I could see no way out of the pickle I was in" (Robert Louis Stevenson).


1. of or relating to a predicament or situation
2. (Logic) (esp in Aristotelian philosophy)of or relating to a category or predicament
References in periodicals archive ?
2, Fabro finds Thomas distinguishing between what Fabro himself calls predicamental participation and transcendental participation.
31) Dulles continued to appeal to Rahner's understanding of revelation as "simultaneously anthropocentric and theocentric," (32) a view that supported a "dialectical balance" between "transcendental and predicamental revelation.
10) At the same time, Westphal and others agree that Heidegger's condemnations of "ontotheology" are often concerned with not reducing the God of mystery to a mere causa sui, with not remanding God to the level of predicamental and categorical beings.