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[muh-ras] /məˈræs/
a tract of low, soft, wet ground.
a marsh or bog.
marshy ground.
any confusing or troublesome situation, especially one from which it is difficult to free oneself; entanglement.
Origin of morass
1645-55; < Dutch moeras, alteration (by association with moer marsh; cf. moor1) of Middle Dutch maras < Old French mareis < Germanic. See marsh Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for morass
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The street had been transformed into a morass of sticky mud by the storm.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • O, into what a morass of sin has he not fallen, and every moment he goes deeper!

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • Just at the mouth of it there was a morass filled with gad-flies and other poisonous insects.

    Hair Breadth Escapes T. S. Arthur
  • On the way he had to pass a long and weary waste of heath and morass.

    Red Cap Tales Samuel Rutherford Crockett
  • A guide had been found who would guide the army across the morass.

    Red Cap Tales Samuel Rutherford Crockett
British Dictionary definitions for morass


a tract of swampy low-lying land
a disordered or muddled situation or circumstance, esp one that impedes progress
Word Origin
C17: from Dutch moeras, ultimately from Old French maraismarsh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for morass

"wet, swampy tract," 1650s, from Dutch moeras "marsh, fen," from Middle Dutch marasch, from Old French marais "marsh," from Frankish, possibly from West Germanic *marisk, from Proto-Germanic *mariskaz "like a lake," from *mari "sea" (see mere (n.)). The word was influenced in Dutch by moer "moor" (see moor (n.)). Figurative use is attested from 1867. Replaced earlier mareis (early 14c.; see marish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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