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illustration Quagmire



Part of speech: noun

Origin: English, 16th century


A soft boggy area of land that gives way underfoot.


An awkward, complex, or hazardous situation.

Examples of Quagmire in a sentence

"A quagmire on the east end of the town prevented the community from building in that area."

"Shawn hoped his case would be simple, but it became clear he was facing a legal quagmire."

About Quagmire

“Quagmire” was formed by fusing two English words, “quag,” meaning “marsh” or “bog,” and “mire,” meaning “area of mud or spongy earth.”

Did you Know?

“Quagmire” is a combination of two words in English that both basically mean “swamp,” but the two have completely different origins. “Quag” is a variation on the Middle English “quabbe” (meaning “a marsh”) and the Old English “cwabba” (meaning “soft thing”). “Mire” is also Middle English, but its roots are early Scandinavian, such as the Old Icelandic “mýrr,” and the Norwegian, Old Swedish, and Danish “myr.” Both “quag” and “mire” still exist independently in English, but “quagmire” is more widely used than either.

illustration Quagmire

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