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noun (1)

ˈbäg How to pronounce bog (audio)
geography : wet spongy ground
especially : a poorly drained usually acid area rich in accumulated plant material, frequently surrounding a body of open water, and having a characteristic flora (as of sedges, heaths, and sphagnum)


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bogged; bogging

transitive verb

: to cause to sink into or as if into a bog (see bog entry 1) : impede, mire
usually used with down
a car that had gotten bogged down in the mud
easy to get bogged down in the details

intransitive verb

: to become impeded or stuck
usually used with down
Extra demand can cause the system to bog down.


3 of 3

noun (2)


Examples of bog in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Trey, meanwhile, sees a chance for revenge against the men who buried her beloved brother in a peat bog. Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Mar. 2024 Louisiana’s famous creations, for example, tend to be fluffier or more densely saucy than South Carolinian bog, which is as soupy as the word suggests. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 While the role of forests is widely recognized, peatlands - such as bogs and marshes - are less well-known. Simi Thambi​, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The bog body was located on land owned by the Department of Agriculture. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Feb. 2024 They can be found on all continents and are classified into bogs, fens and swamps. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Mar. 2024 Brains have surfaced from northern European peat bogs, Andean mountaintops, shipwrecks, desert tombs and Victorian poorhouses. Katie Hunt, CNN, 25 Mar. 2024 But after decades of habitat destruction, these handsome insects are now fragmented and locally extinct, holding out in the wettest fens, valleys, and peat bogs of the New Forest and Dorset. Matthew Ponsford, WIRED, 19 Mar. 2024 When the Bellaghy bog man first rose from the ground in October, investigators were searching other bogs for other secrets, in the wetlands of County Monaghan. Ali Watkins, New York Times, 29 Feb. 2024
Sometimes that stuff bogs things down and overcomplicates something that's just fun. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 18 Jan. 2024 In addition to a stellar folk soundtrack, there's an expert juggling of immense tragedy and slapstick comedy, though the work never once confuses the two tones or bogs itself down with pieties. Declan Gallagher,, 29 Aug. 2023 Steam | Official site Tired of games that bog you down with hours of wordy tutorials to explain their complex mechanics? Kyle Orland and Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, 18 June 2023 Break gives Hamas time to prepare a new phase that aims to bog Israel down and create international pressure to end the war TEL AVIV—Hamas leaders are heading into a temporary cease-fire with a singular mission: survival. Dov Lieber, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2023 Concerns have emerged among Washington’s Asian allies that the prospect of a spiraling conflict between Israel and Hamas could bog the United States down as happened a decade ago in the fight against the Islamic State, say former U.S. officials. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2023 What if the polarization, paranoia, conspiracism, and hopelessness that bog us down have a more holistic origin than structural malfunctions or individual malfeasance? Ana Marie Cox, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 The couple worried that using a credit card to travel to the East Coast would leave an evidence trail that could bog them down in litigation or cost them their right to practice medicine. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 20 June 2023 Those factions attempted to bog things down by filing multiple amendments, all unsuccessful, to change the legislation. Laura Litvan,, 2 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bog.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1) and Verb

Middle English (Scots), from Scottish Gaelic & Irish bog- (as in bogluachair bulrushes), from bog marshy, literally, soft, from Middle Irish bocc; probably akin to Old English būgan to bend — more at bow

Noun (2)

short for boghouse, from British argot bog to defecate

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above


1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (2)

circa 1789, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bog was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near bog

Cite this Entry

“Bog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ˈbäg How to pronounce bog (audio)
: wet spongy ground
especially : a poorly drained acid area in which dead plant matter accumulates and sphagnum grows in abundance
boggy adjective


2 of 2 verb
bogged; bogging
: to sink or become stuck in or as if in a bog
get bogged down in too much detail

More from Merriam-Webster on bog

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