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I'm looking for something along the lines of "tough decision" but want a phrase which emphasizes on the degree of severity of the toughness of the decision.

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    Hello and welcome to English Language and Usage SE! For questions of this sort that request a word or phrase with a certain meaning, it's good to give as much information as you can about how you want to use the phrase. Consider including an example sentence with a blank space for the desired phrase. It's also good if you include any research that you have done or alternatives that you've already considered. You say that "tough decision" is similar to what you want; can you explain in more detail why you're not satisfied with this phrase? – herisson Aug 13 '16 at 5:46
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    Have you looked up synonyms of "tough" in a thesaurus, and if so, what did you think of them? (For example, "difficult decision" or "hard decision".) There's a good question checklist on the information page for the tag "single word requests"; I would recommend going through it and seeing if you can edit your question to add some more relevant information. That helps you get a better answer, and it may also help your question to get a better reception in this community. – herisson Aug 13 '16 at 5:52
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One common word to use here would be dilemma.

It was a tough decision that Jane had been put in, whether to fire Mickey or Rachel for their misconduct in the workplace.

Jane had a dilemma on her hands — she had to fire at least one of Mickey and Rachel, but she didn't know which.

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  • If you wanted to emphasize its severity, just emphasize the noun, like: "Jane had quite a dilemma." – Joe Z. Aug 13 '16 at 5:57

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