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noun (1)

ˈbäg How to pronounce bog (audio)
geography : wet spongy ground
especially : a poorly drained usually acid area rich in accumulated plant material, frequently surrounding a body of open water, and having a characteristic flora (as of sedges, heaths, and sphagnum)


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bogged; bogging

transitive verb

: to cause to sink into or as if into a bog (see bog entry 1) : impede, mire
usually used with down
a car that had gotten bogged down in the mud
easy to get bogged down in the details

intransitive verb

: to become impeded or stuck
usually used with down
Extra demand can cause the system to bog down.


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noun (2)


Examples of bog in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
In a sickly palette of chartreuse, Army green, and light blue, one kneeling nude leans back on another, who is gripping her breast in a primordial bog. Ariel Levy, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023 Alan Richardson Pix-AR SHARE New research suggests that a piece of fabric tartan found in a peat bog in the Scottish Highlands may be the oldest traditional tartan ever found. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 3 Apr. 2023 Get The Recipe 26 of 30 Chicken-And-Collards Pilau This pilau recipe is similar to chicken bog, but with even more flavor. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 9 Oct. 2023 It is restricted to low bogs where its roots are bathed in water all year long. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 18 Aug. 2023 Also known as peat moss, sphagnum mosses carpet the ground in marshes, moors and peat bogs. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Oct. 2023 Enter Email Sign Up The news serves as a bright spot amid the challenges facing the state’s nearly 13,000 acres of cranberry bogs, which generate $1.7 billion for the Massachusetts economy, according to a June report from agricultural lender Farm Credit East. Globe Staff,, 17 Sep. 2023 But beginning about 6,000 years ago, waves of settlers cut, burned, and sent their flocks to graze on the woods, transforming this once lush, temperate rainforest into a terrain of treeless bogs, heaths, and pastures. WIRED, 22 July 2023 Bronze oaks and golden marsh grasses create the signature colors, but be on the lookout for bright pops of red from thickets of sumac and the Cape’s famed cranberry bogs. Patricia Harris and David Lyon,, 7 Sep. 2023
Concerns have emerged among Washington’s Asian allies that the prospect of a spiraling conflict between Israel and Hamas could bog the United States down as happened a decade ago in the fight against the Islamic State, say former U.S. officials. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2023 What if the polarization, paranoia, conspiracism, and hopelessness that bog us down have a more holistic origin than structural malfunctions or individual malfeasance? Ana Marie Cox, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 The couple worried that using a credit card to travel to the East Coast would leave an evidence trail that could bog them down in litigation or cost them their right to practice medicine. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 20 June 2023 Those factions attempted to bog things down by filing multiple amendments, all unsuccessful, to change the legislation. Laura Litvan,, 2 June 2023 At other times, though, directorial choices severely bog the production down. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 25 May 2023 The Aztecs like to muddy the waters and finally were able to bog the game down to their liking in the second half. John Marshall, ajc, 4 Apr. 2023 Sometimes that stuff bogs things down and overcomplicates something that's just fun. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 3 May 2023 Having that single focus also helps filter out the distractions that can otherwise bog founders down to the point of stymieing progress. Matt Carbonara, Forbes, 13 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bog.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1) and Verb

Middle English (Scots), from Scottish Gaelic & Irish bog- (as in bogluachair bulrushes), from bog marshy, literally, soft, from Middle Irish bocc; probably akin to Old English būgan to bend — more at bow

Noun (2)

short for boghouse, from British argot bog to defecate

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above


1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (2)

circa 1789, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bog was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near bog

Cite this Entry

“Bog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ˈbäg How to pronounce bog (audio)
: wet spongy ground
especially : a poorly drained acid area in which dead plant matter accumulates and sphagnum grows in abundance
boggy adjective


2 of 2 verb
bogged; bogging
: to sink or become stuck in or as if in a bog
get bogged down in too much detail

More from Merriam-Webster on bog

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