quagmire

noun
quag·​mire | \ ˈkwag-ˌmī(-ə)r How to pronounce quagmire (audio) , ˈkwäg- How to pronounce quagmire (audio) \

Definition of quagmire

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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of quagmire in a Sentence

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 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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

This delightfully satiric take on the Israeli-Palestinian quagmire revolves around a third-rate soap opera and a border checkpoint where creativity — and helpings of hummus -- trump ethnic conflict. SFChronicle.com, "Capsule movie reviews for Aug. 18," 14 Aug. 2019 Plus, the ground near the shed will turn into a soggy, muddy quagmire after every rainstorm. Don’t tuck the shed deep into the woods where it’ll be completely surrounded by trees and ground cover. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build Your Own Shed (in 7 Steps)," 29 July 2019 For my children’s sake, my favorites are the planks numbered 3.1 and 3.3, promoting a strong defense but also opposed to foreign entanglements such as the quagmires of Vietnam and Afghanistan. Lincoln Chafee, BostonGlobe.com, "Lincoln Chafee: The party of peace: Why I joined the Libertarian Party," 19 July 2019 The structure of these treaties has also run into legal quagmires, especially in India, where the government couldn’t collect $2.2 billion from Vodafone’s acquisition of an Indian operating company through offshore firms including one in Mauritius. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "How an idyllic African island became a tax haven for some of the world’s biggest corporations," 23 July 2019 Seen through an economic lens, the Crown Prince's backing of Beijing amid his own PR quagmire -- even if China is indeed systematically abusing the human rights of Muslims in its own country -- is perhaps not completely surprising. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "Muslim nations are defending China as it cracks down on Muslims, shattering any myths of Islamic solidarity," 17 July 2019 How did Trump square his campaign vow to pull out of the nuclear deal with his promise to avoid Mideast quagmires? Greg Sargent, The Denver Post, "Sargent: Trump’s Iran reversal exposes one of his most dangerous lies," 21 June 2019 The legislative quagmire serves as a microcosm of America’s immigration debate. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Texans Cornyn, Cuellar can't get congressional colleagues to back their bipartisan immigration plan," 20 June 2019 When David Cameron promised a referendum on EU membership in 2016, nobody could have anticipated our current cultural and constitutional quagmire. Sahil Handa, National Review, "Reclaiming Britishness from the Brexit Debacle," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quagmire.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of quagmire

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about quagmire

Dictionary Entries near quagmire

quag

quagga

quaggy

quagmire

quagmiry

quahog

quahogger

Statistics for quagmire

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quagmire

The first known use of quagmire was circa 1580

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for quagmire

quagmire

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quagmire

: 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

quagmire

noun
quag·​mire | \ ˈkwag-ˌmīr How to pronounce quagmire (audio) \

Kids Definition of quagmire

1 : soft spongy wet ground that shakes or gives way under the foot
2 : a difficult situation Repairing the old house became a costly quagmire.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on quagmire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quagmire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quagmire

Spanish Central: Translation of quagmire

Nglish: Translation of quagmire for Spanish Speakers

Comments on quagmire

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!