Definition of morass in English:



  • 1An area of muddy or boggy ground.

    ‘in midwinter the track beneath this bridge became a muddy morass’
    • ‘We tend to take such well maintained paths for granted but on the mountain the contrast between the good path and the muddy morass is all too obvious.’
    • ‘Not everyone likes these cobbled trails but not that long ago this path was thirty feet wide, a swathe of mud and peat, ever-widening as more and more walkers tried to avoid the morass in the middle.’
    • ‘So each morning and evening, 700 villagers strike out across dirt roads turned into a morass of mud and dung to deliver medicines to people with AIDS and tuberculosis.’
    • ‘The main landscape feature is endless peatbog, surrounded by marsh, leading into morasses, sloughs and quagmires.’
    • ‘On the appointed day the Queen inspected a muddy, smelly morass.’
    • ‘‘I noticed some people removing some peat soil from a small morass,’ he writes.’
    • ‘This heavy foot traffic placed an intolerable burden on the old, original summit path and what had been a pleasant trail up the hillside had turned into a linear morass of mud and glaur.’
    • ‘These morasses usually had a green moss growing on them, and were most inviting to gallop over.’
    • ‘The road leading into the village was a stinking morass of oil and dirt that resembled an airline crash site more then a driveable path.’
    • ‘Trails through the jungle growth were impassable by the muddy morass.’
    quagmire, swamp, bog, marsh, mire, quag, marshland, peat bog, fen, slough, quicksand
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  • 2A complicated or confused situation.

    ‘she would become lost in a morass of lies and explanations’
    • ‘And in the unfathomable morass of the benefits system, some women can end up in better financial circumstances if they have split from their partner.’
    • ‘Rumours persist too of other investments in properties and companies; of a morass of financial dealings so complicated that the police are having difficulty getting to the bottom of it all.’
    • ‘It must be said, however, that education policy is usually a morass of conflicting interests and alternative orientations.’
    • ‘The chain grew to 149 stores, but eventually collapsed in a morass of disputes.’
    • ‘The minister said he hoped to streamline and simplify what he called the morass of laws governing alcohol sales, many of which pre-date the Irish State.’
    • ‘It's become a legal morass, muddied by claims of incompetence and backroom deals.’
    • ‘At times it sounds like the ranting and raving of a somewhat unhinged mind, but then it takes a certain amount of guts to let people into your mind, into what seems to be a morass of obsessive paranoia.’
    • ‘The plot of the film is a morass of absolute stupidity.’
    • ‘Complex procedures were simplified and new game mechanics were used to keep players involved, without losing them in a morass of procedures.’
    • ‘Foreign attempts to help run into a morass of bureaucracy and ideology.’
    • ‘The next two chapters on medieval India and the Middle Ages are more muddled, perhaps due the the confusing morass of the actual history of the period.’
    • ‘Their bond is deep, and they have found mutual understanding amid a morass of confusion.’
    • ‘I felt that the plans team was slowly sinking into a morass of detail.’
    • ‘The overall visa problem is really a morass of smaller problems that plague international students and visiting scientists.’
    • ‘The whole country, the entire populace, should be discussing and debating this in an attempt to work our way out of the morass and design new beginnings.’
    • ‘By his selections and approach, he has shown that he is determined to find a way through the racial morass that has bedevilled most of his predecessors.’
    • ‘But this whole issue has been lost in a morass of other complications.’
    • ‘Time after time the police would charge, the protesters would flee and in the morass they would easily drag their intended target back behind police lines.’
    • ‘The first years of the program were a morass of infighting, failed launches, and neglect.’
    • ‘It makes the last two years of Smith's life sound unbearable, a morass of depression, insomnia, paranoia, drug and alcohol abuse and overwork.’
    • ‘We need designers who demonstrate exceptional comprehension: designers who are able to flesh out the meaning from the morass.’
    confusion, chaos, muddle, tangle, entanglement, imbroglio, mix-up, jumble, clutter
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Late 15th century: from Dutch moeras, alteration (by assimilation to moer ‘moor’) of Middle Dutch marasch, from Old French marais ‘marsh’, from medieval Latin mariscus.