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quagmire Syllabification: quag·mire
Pronunciation: /ˈkwaɡˌmī(ə)r/

Definition of quagmire in English:


1A soft boggy area of land that gives way underfoot: torrential rain turned the building site into a quagmire
More example sentences
  • In the 19th century, the area was a quagmire with a creek running through it.
  • The main landscape feature is endless peatbog, surrounded by marsh, leading into morasses, sloughs and quagmires.
  • When we got there it was raining very hard and the patio area was a quagmire.
1.1An awkward, complex, or hazardous situation: a legal quagmire
More example sentences
  • Officials in Indonesia have warned that if the legal quagmire is not sorted out before Tristan reaches the age of five, he cannot be adopted.
  • This is expected to become a legal quagmire, with landholders' interests already warning of test cases over compulsory purchases.
  • Looking to the future, the legal quagmire of the Internet presents new issues and challenges to both free speech and morality.
muddle, mix-up, mess, predicament, mare's nest, can of worms, quandary, tangle, imbroglio;
trouble, confusion, difficulty
informal sticky situation, pickle, stew, dilemma, fix, bind


Late 16th century: from quag + mire.

Definition of quagmire in:
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