16th century. Origin unknown; perhaps a dialectal corruption (simulating a word of Latin origin with suffix -ary) of wandreth (“evil, plight, peril, adversity, difficulty”), from Middle English wandreth, from Old Norse vandræði (“difficulty, trouble”), from vandr (“difficult, requiring pains and care”).
quandary (plural quandaries)
- A state of not knowing what to decide; a state of difficulty or perplexity; a state of uncertainty, hesitation or puzzlement.
- A dilemma, a difficult decision or choice.