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[kwag-mahyuh r, kwog-] /ˈkwægˌmaɪər, ˈkwɒg-/
an area of miry or boggy ground whose surface yields under the tread; a bog.
a situation from which extrication is very difficult:
a quagmire of financial indebtedness.
anything soft or flabby.
Origin of quagmire
1570-80; quag + mire
Related forms
quagmiry, adjective
2. predicament, dilemma, quandary, scrape, jam. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quagmire
  • So it's in his interest to help those students manage their plastic wisely and avoid the quagmire of credit-card debt.
  • It turned out that the road in front of Snitch's new place became a quagmire every time it rained.
  • The day may come when you need them to rescue yourself from a quagmire.
  • In spite of the heavy rains that made a quagmire of the course, the races were exciting from start to finish.
  • The infield became a quagmire by the bottom of the eighth.
  • The posters on this thread give me hope that we have not thoroughly sunk into a quagmire of barbarism.
  • He is in a quagmire right now and maybe doesn't know how to get out.
  • It's an obvious quagmire.
  • Falling prices and rising foreclosures cause a policy quagmire.
  • Let us hear the truth from the brains that got us into this quagmire.
British Dictionary definitions for quagmire


/ˈkwæɡˌmaɪə; ˈkwɒɡ-/
a soft wet area of land that gives way under the feet; bog
an awkward, complex, or embarrassing situation
Word Origin
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
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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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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