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morass

[muh-ras] /məˈræs/
noun
1.
a tract of low, soft, wet ground.
2.
a marsh or bog.
3.
marshy ground.
4.
any confusing or troublesome situation, especially one from which it is difficult to free oneself; entanglement.
Origin of morass
1645-1655
1645-55; < Dutch moeras, alteration (by association with moer marsh; cf. moor1) of Middle Dutch maras < Old French mareis < Germanic. See marsh
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for morass
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I should think some of them might lead less frequently to bramble and morass.

    A Woman of Genius Mary Austin
  • He knew every inch of the land, the river, the morass, and the commanding hill.

    Lafayette Martha Foote Crow
  • Humor alone could accomplish Munchausen's feat, and draw itself by its own hair out of the morass.

  • The street had been transformed into a morass of sticky mud by the storm.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • The Pennsylvania regiment to which the Wyoming troops belonged, occupied the strip of woods near the morass.

    In the Days of Washington William Murray Graydon
British Dictionary definitions for morass

morass

/məˈræs/
noun
1.
a tract of swampy low-lying land
2.
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
n.

"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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