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

Although the shaking was less intense, Trona’s location on soft sediments that have eroded off a mountainside — known as an alluvial fan — caused the ground to act like quicksand, O’Dell said. Rong-gong Lin Ii, latimes.com, "Ridgecrest earthquake mystery: Why so little destruction from huge temblors?," 10 July 2019 There’s no denying that Mont Saint-Michel is stunning from afar, especially if your timing allows you to see it both encircled by water and surrounded by mud flats that resemble quicksand. Debra Bruno, chicagotribune.com, "Nearly lost to war, Saint-Malo is a restored refuge," 20 Aug. 2019 Every week, a few new series sneak onto the streaming service, then quickly sink down into its quicksand-like coffers. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "The week in watching: Coping with peak TV, a Kirsten Dunst comedy, and the sweet wonder of ‘Lodge 49’," 18 Aug. 2019 Many California cities lie atop soft sediments that can act like quicksand when shaken — a process called liquefaction. Los Angeles Times, "Earthquake shook L.A. skyscrapers so hard some got vertigo," 15 Aug. 2019 Cano’s big Tuesday night was a respite from his usual spot in the Carlos Baerga/Roberto Alomar quicksand, where a star second baseman’s productivity abruptly ends upon his arrival in Queens. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Mets Need to Take a Padres-Style Leap," 24 July 2019 Their escape plan rapidly unravels in this quicksand town and Mozaffari captures it all with a sense of breathless immediacy, a wildly roving handheld camera just trying to keep up. Katie Walsh, latimes.com, "Review: Canadian drama ‘Firecrackers’ marks the daring arrival of new talent," 11 July 2019 Shaking from an earthquake can cause land to behave like quicksand, causing the ground to fail. Rosanna Xia, latimes.com, "Is my building vulnerable in a big earthquake? Here's how to find out," 9 July 2019 The 15-ton lunar module is being swallowed by the thick layer of moondust like a stone dropped in quicksand. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "Lunar Mysteries That Science Still Needs to Solve," 16 July 2019

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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Statistics for quicksand

Last Updated

17 Sep 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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