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I'm looking for words that capture the meaning: being mentally divided or split. The feeling of "I'm not sure", insofar as one is heavily weighing the pros and cons of an idea on a intellectual or emotional level.

For example, you could write: "The question challenged his beliefs - suddenly he was divided." I feel however "divided" or "split" doesn't capture the implied meaning of moral compromise here.

I struggle to find a better word here, though I am sure it exists.

  • Maybe conflicted? It means "full of conflicting emotions or impulses". – stangdon Feb 11 '17 at 18:41
  • This would work: The question challenged his beliefs - suddenly he hesitated. Hesitate is not exactly a feeling, though. – Damkerng T. Feb 11 '17 at 18:46
  • You might like undecided en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/undecided – green_ideas Feb 12 '17 at 5:16
  • I feel 'conflicted' captures the idea best, but thank you as well for all the other suggestions! – Alex Petralia Feb 12 '17 at 20:52
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Thesaurus.com mentions

Main Entry: forked
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: going separate ways
Synonyms: angled, bifid, bifurcate, bifurcated, branched, branching, dichotomous, dichotomic, divaricate, divided, furcate, furcated, pronged, split, tined, tridented, zigzag
Antonyms: joined, unbranched

When talking about the mind being split you could use bifurcated or dichotomic (Divided into two branches or forks)

Another expression you could use is

He was in two minds

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The word for '...The feeling of "I'm not sure", insofar as one is heavily weighing the pros and cons of an idea on a intellectual or emotional level.' is 'dilemma'. I have also seen the 'types' of dilemma which may include 'mental' or 'ethical'.

If the question challenges your belief, you could be in a dilemma whether or not to keep the 'belief' anymore.

Others may come up with more words.

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  • 2
    I've never heard anyone use the phrase "in dilemma". Maybe "in a dilemma", but dilemma really refers to the situation, not the feeling. – stangdon Feb 11 '17 at 18:43
  • @stangdon The OP seems to talk about the 'feeling' according to the 'situation' only as he says weighing pros and cons and the uncertainty based on it! – Maulik V Feb 11 '17 at 18:54

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