Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Wikipedia has an article on:



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.[1]

Alternative: Apparently a var. of the earlier quakemire, from quake + mire.[2]



quagmire ‎(plural quagmires)

  1. A swampy, soggy area of ground.
    That quagmire regularly 'swallows' caught-up hikers' boots
  2. (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.


  1. ^ quagmire” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  2. ^ quagmire in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911