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
Recent Examples on the Web Fan chairs Hengli Petrochemical, a chemical fiber producer. Blame that on China’s property quagmire. Laura He, CNN, 28 July 2022 But the Bush administration’s swift pivot to Iraq made the enterprise less a theater for clear-eyed vindication and patriotic pageantry than yet another messy, increasingly unresolved quagmire. Washington Post, 17 Aug. 2021 According to Bloomberg, nearly $22 trillion in trade of global goods is stuck in a supply chain quagmire. Florent Bouguin, Forbes, 19 July 2022 And even though student protests failed to bring an end to the quagmire in Vietnam before 1973, activists shaped the national conversation by gaining support for the anti-war movement, once again proving that engagement mattered. CNN, 14 July 2022 The agency had to endure the quagmire of a deal that stretched and stretched, suffering low morale and seeing colleagues as well as clients jump ship. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 June 2022 The authors hope the report will shed light on the complexity of the problem — one that does have solutions that work, but no silver-bullet pathway out of the current quagmire. Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2022 This degree of protection, persistently advocated for by the personhood movement, creates a legal quagmire with potentially terrifying ramifications. CNN, 21 June 2022 Actionable insights from data and artificial intelligence (AI) afford us the best way to navigate this quagmire. Mathew Elenjickal, Forbes, 16 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of quagmire

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of quagmire was circa 1580

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Quagmire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quagmire. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for quagmire


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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