• synonyms


[kwag-mahyuhr, kwog-]
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  1. an area of miry or boggy ground whose surface yields under the tread; a bog.
  2. a situation from which extrication is very difficult: a quagmire of financial indebtedness.
  3. anything soft or flabby.
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Origin of quagmire

First recorded in 1570–80; quag + mire
Related formsquag·mir·y, adjective

Synonyms for quagmire

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for quagmire

predicament, dilemma, quandary, impasse, imbroglio, entanglement, morass, quicksand, box, jam, plight, mire, fix, muddle, scrape, difficulty, pinch, involvement, pass, perplexity

Examples from the Web for quagmire

Contemporary Examples of quagmire

Historical Examples of quagmire

  • But now am I indeed fast stuck in a quagmire of uncertainty.

  • The road through Thiepval was a bog, the village was a quagmire.

    The Old Front Line

    John Masefield

  • The pond was a thin piece of canvas painted to represent the quagmire.

  • Already our horses were stumbling over corpses as if in a quagmire.

  • The lane was muddy even in the roadway, and on the banks it was a quagmire.

    A Dog with a Bad Name

    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for quagmire


  1. a soft wet area of land that gives way under the feet; bog
  2. an awkward, complex, or embarrassing situation
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Word Origin for quagmire

C16: from quag + mire
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 quagmire


1570s, "bog, marsh," from obsolete quag "bog, marsh" + mire (n.). Early spellings include quamyre (1550s), quabmire (1590s), quadmire (c.1600). Extended sense of "difficult situation, inescapable bad position" is recorded by 1766; but this seems to have been not in common use in much of 19c. (absent in "Century Dictionary," 1902), but revived in a narrower sense in reference to military invasions in American English, 1965, with reference to Vietnam (popularized in the book title "The Making of a Quagmire" by David Halberstam).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper