• synonyms


[bog, bawg]
See more synonyms for bog on Thesaurus.com
  1. wet, spongy ground with soil composed mainly of decayed vegetable matter.
  2. an area or stretch of such ground.
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verb (used with or without object), bogged, bog·ging.
  1. to sink in or as if in a bog (often followed by down): We were bogged down by overwork.
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Verb Phrases
  1. bog in, Australian Slang. to eat heartily and ravenously.
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Origin of bog1

1495–1505; < Irish or Scots Gaelic bogach soft ground (bog soft + -ach noun suffix); (def 4) perhaps a different word
Related formsbog·gish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for bog down

bog down

verb bogs, bogging or bogged
  1. (adverb when tr, often passive) to impede or be impeded physically or mentally
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  1. wet spongy ground consisting of decomposing vegetation, which ultimately forms peat
  2. an area of such ground
  3. a place or thing that prevents or slows progress or improvement
  4. a slang word for lavatory (def. 1)
  5. Australian slang the act or an instance of defecating
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Derived Formsboggy, adjectivebogginess, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Gaelic bogach swamp, from bog soft
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

Word Origin and History for bog down



c.1500, from Gaelic and Irish bogach "bog," from adjective bog "soft, moist," from PIE *bhugh-, from root *bheugh- "to bend" (see bow (v.)). Bog-trotter applied to the wild Irish from 1670s.

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"to sink (something or someone) in a bog," c.1600, from bog (n.). Intransitive use from c.1800. Related: Bogged; bogging.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bog down in Science


  1. An area of wet, spongy ground consisting mainly of decayed or decaying peat moss (sphagnum) and other vegetation. Bogs form as the dead vegetation sinks to the bottom of a lake or pond, where it decays slowly to form peat. Peat bogs are important to global ecology, since the undecayed peat moss stores large amounts of carbon that would otherwise be released back into the atmosphere. Global warming may accelerate decay in peat bogs and release more carbon dioxide, which in turn may cause further warming.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with bog down

bog down

Become stuck, be unable to progress, as in Their research bogged down because they lacked the laboratory expertise. This expression transfers sinking into the mud of a swamp to being hampered or halted. [First half of 1900s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.