What does quagmire mean?

Definitions for quagmire
ˈkwægˌmaɪər, ˈkwɒg-quag·mire

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word quagmire.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. mire, quagmire, quag, morass, slacknoun

    a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot


  1. quagmirenoun

    A swampy, soggy area of ground.

    That quagmire regularly 'swallows' caught-up hikers' boots

  2. quagmirenoun

    A perilous, mixed up and troubled situation; a hopeless tangle; a predicament.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. QUAGMIREnoun

    A shaking marsh; a bog that trembles under the feet.

    Etymology: that is, quakemire.

    The fen and quagmire, so marish by kind,
    Are to be drained. Thomas Tusser.

    Your hearts I’ll stamp out with my horse’s heels,
    And make a quagmire of your mingled brains. William Shakespeare.

    Poor Tom! whom the soul fiend hath through ford and whirlpool, o’er bog and quagmire. William Shakespeare.

    The wet particles might have easily ever mingled with the dry, and so all had either been sea or quagmire. More.

    The brain is of such a clammy consistence, that it can no more retain motion than a quagmire. Joseph Glanvill, Sceps.


  1. quagmire

    A mire, peatland, or quagmire is a wetland area dominated by living peat-forming plants. Mires arise because of incomplete decomposition of organic matter, usually litter from vegetation, due to water-logging and subsequent anoxia. All types of mires share the common characteristic of being saturated with water, at least seasonally with actively forming peat, while having their own ecosystem. Like coral reefs, mires are unusual landforms that derive mostly from biological rather than physical processes, and can take on characteristic shapes and surface patterning. A quagmire is a floating (quaking) mire, bog, or any peatland being in a stage of hydrosere or hydrarch (hydroseral) succession, resulting in pond-filling yields underfoot. Ombrotrophic types of quagmire may be called quaking bog (quivering bog). Minerotrophic types can be named with the term quagfen.There are four types of mire: bog, fen, marsh and swamp. A bog is a mire that, due to its location relative to the surrounding landscape, obtains most of its water from rainfall (ombrotrophic). A fen is located on a slope, flat, or in a depression and gets most of its water from soil or groundwater (minerotrophic). Thus, while a bog is always acidic and nutrient-poor, a fen may be slightly acidic, neutral, or alkaline, and either nutrient-poor or nutrient-rich. A marsh is a type of wetland within which vegetation is rooted in mineral soil but some marshes form shallow peat deposits well known as Mires. Swamps are characterized by their forest canopy and, like fens, are typically of higher pH level and nutrient availability than bogs. Some bogs and fens can support limited shrub or tree growth on hummocks. The formation of mires today is primarily controlled by climatic conditions such as precipitation and temperature, although terrain relief is a major factor as waterlogging occurs more easily on flatter ground. However, there is a growing anthropogenic influence in the accumulation of peat and peatlands around the world, including through both conservation efforts as well as climate change-induced destruction by droughts and forest fires. Topographically, mires elevate the ground surface above the original topography. Mires can reach considerable heights above the underlying mineral soil or bedrock: peat depths of above 10m have been commonly recorded in temperate regions (many temperate and most boreal mires were removed by ice sheets in the last Ice Age), and above 25 m in tropical regions.[7] When the absolute decay rate in the catotelm (the lower, water-saturated zone of a mire) matches the rate of input of new peat into the catotelm, the mire will stop growing in height.[8] A simplistic calculation, using typical values for a Sphagnum bog of 1mm new peat added per year and 0.0001 proportion of the catotelm decaying per year, gives a maximum height of 10 m. More advanced analyses incorporate expectable nonlinear rates of catotelm decay. For botanists and ecologists, the term peatland is a more general term for any terrain dominated by peat to a depth of at least 30 cm (12 in), even if it has been completely drained (i.e., a peatland can be dry, but a mire by definition must be actively forming peat).


  1. quagmire

    A quagmire refers to a difficult, complex, or problematic situation from which it is challenging to extricate oneself. It can also refer to a soft, boggy area of land that is difficult to navigate or escape from.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Quagmirenoun

    soft, wet, miry land, which shakes or yields under the feet


  1. Quagmire

    Quagmire is a fictional character, owned by Marvel Comics who is a native of the universe of the Squadron Supreme. He first appeared in Squadron Supreme #4 in flashback, and fully in Squadron Supreme #5, and was created by Mark Gruenwald.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Quagmire

    kwag′mīr, n. wet, boggy ground that yields under the feet.—v.t. to entangle, as in a quagmire.—adj. Quag′miry. [Quake and mire.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. quagmire

    A marsh in which, from its concave and impermeable bottom, the waters remain stagnant, rendering the surface a quaking bog.

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How to pronounce quagmire?

How to say quagmire in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of quagmire in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of quagmire in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of quagmire in a Sentence

  1. Rob Biederman:

    It’s often the case that somebody at one of our clients will refer us to their corporate VC group, the trick for us is being disciplined. The right partner can generate a tremendous amount of value, but the wrong partner can potentially be a bit of a quagmire.

  2. Henrik Ibsen:

    Your home is regarded as a model home, your life as a model life. But all this splendor, and you along with it... it's just as though it were built upon a shifting quagmire. A moment may come, a word can be spoken, and both you and all this splendor will collapse.

  3. Barack Obama:

    An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire and it won't work.

  4. President Obama:

    [A]n attempt byRussia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire. And it won’t work.

  5. Charles De Gaulle:

    I predict you will sink step by step into a bottomless quagmire, however much you spend in men and money. (On Vietnam War)

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Translations for quagmire

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"quagmire." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/quagmire>.

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