Voguish Vocabulary: Quagmire

quagmire: 1) A boggy, marshy area that cannot support foot traffic. 2) A situation from which extrication is difficult. The OED finds the earliest example of the second sense in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 work The Rivals: “I have followed Cupid’s Jack-a-lantern, and find myself in a quagmire at last.” (Sources: OED, Merriam-Webster Online)

Example from the news: Bush mired in quagmire with no escape route. Toronto Star editorial by Richard Gwyn, June 28, 2005

Example from Scripture: He pulled me out of a dangerous pit, out of the deadly quagmire. He set me safely on a rock and made me secure. He taught me to sing a new song, a song of praise to our God. Many who see this will take warning and will put their trust in the LORD. —Psalm 40:2,3.

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