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A situation that requires a choice among three options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. a quandary posed by three alternative courses of action
2. (Logic) an argument one of the premises of which is the disjunction of three statements from each of which the same conclusion is derived
[C17: formed on the model of dilemma, from tri- + Greek lēmma assumption]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Cost, emissions and reliability - it's the trilemma
Mongolia currently ranks at 94 among 130 countries on the World Energy Council's 2015 Energy Trilemma Index and achieves an energy balance score of BCD, with 90% of its population having access to electricity.
With a strong academic background and cryptography foundation, the Algorand team proposed a new PurePoS (pure proof of stake) consensus mechanism, which can balance decentralization, efficiency and security and may resolve the blockchain trilemma for the first time.
"Carbon capture, storage and utilisation in bioenergy is a vital area of research if we are to find solutions that address the energy trilemma of security, affordability and sustainability."
The options for policymakers are usually summarised by the 'Trilemma' or the 'Impossible Trinity'.
Mark joins Faraday Grid as the company scales rapidly across the globe to help communities meet the challenge of resolving the energy trilemma. Faraday Grid recently opened new Innovation Centres in Washington DC and the Czech Republic, with more global milestones expected throughout 2019.
Moreover, even a simple customs union with the EU -- the option that has so far come closest to commanding a parliamentary majority -- doesn't resolve the Brexit trilemma. While it would grant the UK control over immigration, it would require new regulatory checks between Britain and the EU.
"AboitizPower is committed to addressing the country's energy trilemma of adequate supply, cost of power, and protection of the environment.
"Bringing together the variety of players than can address the energy trilemma is key to solving the challenges the world faces today," Al Mazrouei said.
Bringing together the variety of players that can address the energy trilemma is key to solving the challenges the world faces today.
The World Economic Council (WEC) Energy Trilemma Index, which ranks the performance of each country based on energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability, showed the Philippines ranking 74 out of 125 countries in 2018, he further cited.