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morass

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noun mo·rass \mə-ˈras, mȯ-\

Simple Definition of morass

  • : an area of soft, wet ground : a marsh or swamp

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of morass

  1. 1 :  marsh, swamp

  2. 2 a :  a situation that traps, confuses, or impedes <a legal morass> b :  an overwhelming or confusing mass or mixture <a morass of traffic jams — Mary Roach>

morassy play \-ˈra-sē\ adjective

Examples of morass in a sentence

  1. <advised against becoming involved in that country's civil war, warning that escape from that morass might prove nigh impossible>

  2. <the distracted driver had driven his car off the road and into a morass>



Did You Know?

We won't swamp you with details: morass comes from the Dutch word moeras, which itself derives from an Old French word, maresc, meaning "marsh." Morass has been part of English for centuries, and in its earliest uses it was a synonym of swamp or marsh. (That was the sense Robert Louis Stevenson used when he described Long John Silver emerging from "a low white vapour that had crawled during the night out of the morass" in Treasure Island.) Imagine walking through a thick, muddy swamp - it's easy to compare such slogging to trying to disentangle yourself from a sticky situation. By the mid-19th century, morass had gained a figurative sense referring to any predicament as murky, confusing, or difficult to navigate as a literal swamp or quagmire.

Origin of morass

Dutch moeras, modification of Old French maresc, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English mersc marsh — more at marsh


First Known Use: 1655


MORASS Defined for Kids

morass

play
noun mo·rass \mə-ˈras\

Definition of morass for Students

  1. :  marsh, swamp





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