quagmire


quag·mire

noun \ˈkwag-ˌmī(-ə)r, ˈkwäg-\

: an area of soft, wet ground

: a situation that is hard to deal with or get out of : a situation that is full of problems

Full Definition of QUAGMIRE

1
:  soft miry land that shakes or yields under the foot
2
:  a difficult, precarious, or entrapping position :  predicament

Examples of QUAGMIRE

  1. <the party was once again facing its quadrennial quagmire: the candidate sufficiently liberal to win the nomination would be too liberal for the general election>
  2. <a protracted custody dispute that became a judicial quagmire>
  3. A Girl of the Limberlost is a Cinderella story whose wicked stepmother, in an interesting twist, is the heroine's real mother. She is a crazy person, deranged by grief for a husband who was sucked into a quagmire before her eyes when she was pregnant with Elnora. —Janet Malcolm, New York Review of Books, 15 Jan. 2009

First Known Use of QUAGMIRE

circa 1580

Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: quagmiry
Previous Word in the Dictionary: quaggy
All Words Near: quagmire

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up quagmire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).