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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web Caught in a frightening quagmire, U.S. troops employed abuses that would reoccur in essentially every conflict with similar dynamics in the years since. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2022 While the slower pace may seem strange, a lot of this is down to sustainably maintaining the backend online infrastructure and working through the legal quagmire of classic game licenses. Ollie Barder, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 The Vikings are in the quagmire that is the NFC’s wild card picture after their loss on Sunday to the San Francisco 49ers. Andrew Hammond, Detroit Free Press, 10 Oct. 2021 Three major contributors to the supply chain quagmire Jim Hull, retail/CPG industry strategy executive of Blue Yonder, discussed the three major issues that have stuck retailers and brands with the current supply chain debacle. Shelley E. Kohan, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 University officials tend to refrain from wading into the quagmire of conflict between dissidents and pro-regime students, who are in the majority. Haruka Sakaguchi, ProPublica, 30 Nov. 2021 But as Japan has learned the hard way, low inflation can be an economic quagmire. New York Times, 15 July 2021 The two products from Walnut Creek’s Blue Orange Games are among myriads of playthings mired in the massive quagmire of the worldwide supply chain. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Dec. 2021 Amidst that quagmire, Paul McCartney came up with an idea -- hit the studio, create some new songs and showcase them via a live performance (which the Beatles hadn’t done since 1966) for a TV special or film. Gary Graff, cleveland, 17 Nov. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of quagmire

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for quagmire

Time Traveler

The first known use of quagmire was circa 1580

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Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Quagmire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quagmire. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for quagmire



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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on quagmire

Nglish: Translation of quagmire for Spanish Speakers


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