Recorded since 1579, from two virtual synonyms: obsolete quag (“bog, marsh”) (a variant of Middle English quabbe (“a marsh, bog”), from Old English *cwabba (“shake, tremble like something soft and flabby”); cognate with Dutch kwab) + mire (from Middle English, from Old Norse mýrr, akin to Old English mōs (“marsh”) and English moss). The sense "difficult situation, inextricable position" is recorded since 1775.
quagmire (plural quagmires)
- A swampy, soggy area of ground.
- That quagmire regularly 'swallows' caught-up hikers' boots
- (figuratively) A perilous, mixed up and troubled situation; a hopeless tangle; a predicament.
- The paperwork got lost in a quagmire of bureaucracy.
- Those election results are a quagmire for any coalition except one of national union
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- ^ “quagmire” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
- ^ “quagmire”, in The Century Dictionary, New York: The Century Co., 1911
- quagmire at OneLook Dictionary Search