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Alteration of Middle English quabbe (a marsh, bog), from Old English cwabba (that which shakes or trembles, something soft and flabby). Cognate with Dutch kwab (fleshy lobe).


quag (plural quags)

  1. (obsolete) quagmire; marsh; bog.
    • 1771 December 16, Walker, John, Account of the Irruption of Solway Moss:
      If a person ventures on one of these quags, it bends in waves under his feet; and if the surface breaks, he is in danger of sinking to the bottom.
    • 1784, Cowper, William, Tirocinium; or, a Review of Schools:
      Crooked or straight, through quags or thorny dells