quick·​sand | \ ˈkwik-ˌsand How to pronounce quicksand (audio) \

Definition of quicksand

1 : sand readily yielding to pressure especially : a deep mass of loose sand mixed with water into which heavy objects readily sink
2 : something that entraps or frustrates lead poor people into consumerist quicksand— Robert Wright

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Examples of quicksand in a Sentence

freed from the quicksands of war mired in the quicksand of credit card debt

Recent Examples on the Web

Houses and trees slipped and slid as the ground beneath turned into something approaching quicksand. James Hookway, WSJ, "Extent of Indonesia Devastation Surprised Earthquake Watchers," 2 Oct. 2018 Photo: Getty Images Along the coast, debris was strewn across beaches; in some inland areas, entire buildings appeared to be swallowed up when violent shaking turned the soil into something like quicksand, a phenomenon called liquefaction. Ben Otto, WSJ, "‘We Just Ran’: Scale of Tsunami Horror Emerges in Indonesia," 1 Oct. 2018 Photo: William Steel/NHFU Angela Bassett puts an appropriately theatrical spin on the narration, which seems poised at times to topple into the quicksand of overkill. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘The Flood’ Review: Overflowing With Beauty," 22 Nov. 2018 The ground simply lost its strength and turned to mush beneath people’s feet, creating mud that acted like quicksand. Andi Jatmiko, The Seattle Times, "Indonesia expert warned of quake, gov’t mapped risk areas," 9 Oct. 2018 In Palu’s Petobo neighborhood, the quake caused loose soil to liquefy, creating quicksand-like mud that caused massive damage. Niniek Karmini, The Seattle Times, "Aid slowly is tricking to Indonesian disaster-hit areas," 2 Oct. 2018 If quicksand met a garbage disposal branded by Slip 'N Slide, that'd be my eyelids. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "My Eyeshadow Wouldn’t Last an Hour Without Fenty’s Primer," 27 July 2018 Where are the glittering teals and turquoises one ogles from the plane? Teals and aquas can be misused, and turquoise is quicksand for the beginner. Dylan Landis, House Beautiful, "Amanda Lindroth on Decorating Her Home in the Bahamas," 9 June 2012 Claudia has been a constant in Carson’s quicksand childhood, his legal guardian while Stephens was addicted and homeless; Claudia wrestled him away from his father, who has since been sent to federal prison for drug trafficking. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "For three families, Tulsa experiment offers chance to grasp American dream," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quicksand.' 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 quicksand

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for quicksand

The first known use of quicksand was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for quicksand



English Language Learners Definition of quicksand

: deep, wet sand into which heavy objects sink easily
: a situation that is dangerous and difficult to escape from


quick·​sand | \ ˈkwik-ˌsand How to pronounce quicksand (audio) \

Kids Definition of quicksand

: a deep area of loose sand mixed with water into which heavy objects sink

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More from Merriam-Webster on quicksand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quicksand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quicksand

Spanish Central: Translation of quicksand

Nglish: Translation of quicksand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quicksand

Comments on quicksand

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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