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

Examples of quagmire in a Sentence

That was six months ago, when the Defense secretary laughingly dismissed the idea that Iraq was, or could turn into, a quagmire. But as Rumsfeld sat down last Friday morning to face Sen. John McCain, who spent six years in a Vietnamese prison, no one was laughing. Michael Hirsh et al., Newsweek, 17 Nov. 2003
State involvement will create a vast bioethical quagmire. Even if everyone magically agrees that improving a child's memory is as valid as avoiding dyslexia, there will still be things taxpayers aren't ready to pay for—genes of unproven benefit, say, or alterations whose downsides may exceed the upside. Robert Wright, Time, 11 Jan.1999
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 a protracted custody dispute that became a judicial quagmire
Recent Examples on the Web The recently split pop star Joe Jonas and actress Sophie Turner are deep in the co-parenting-to-custody-battle quagmire. Hannah Van Sickle, Parents, 22 Sep. 2023 Business confidence is still hurting, one reason that China is in an economic quagmire. Li Yuan, New York Times, 29 Aug. 2023 The tools so often used by attendees to share their adventures are now also the tools making the event look like a quagmire. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, 5 Sep. 2023 Married with children, and burdened with an assortment of personal and professional strains, Jakab handles Janka’s declaration of love with sensitivity and tact, but a very different classroom quagmire awaits when Abel shows up for his oral history exam, and freezes on the spot. Guy Lodge, Variety, 5 Sep. 2023 Amid the regulatory quagmire in the U.S., Haun has also been looking for opportunities abroad. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2023 Many union workers told the Beacon-Journal that the company had failed to take advantage of wage and benefit concessions the Teamsters had made in order to keep the hauler out of a financial quagmire. Eric Lagatta, USA TODAY, 1 Aug. 2023 How do otherwise especially bright and notably astute people get themselves into a data or information confidentiality erosion quagmire? Lance Eliot, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 For Queen Camilla, who Saturday will be officially invested with her regal powers (yahoo!), clothes are more of a quagmire. Rachel Tashjian, Washington Post, 5 May 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quagmire was in 1566

Dictionary Entries Near quagmire

Cite this Entry

“Quagmire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quagmire. Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: soft spongy wet ground that shakes or gives way under the foot
: a difficult situation from which it is hard to escape

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