Definition of morass in English:



  • 1An area of muddy or boggy ground:

    ‘in midwinter the track beneath this bridge became a muddy morass’
    • ‘The main landscape feature is endless peatbog, surrounded by marsh, leading into morasses, sloughs and quagmires.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘On the appointed day the Queen inspected a muddy, smelly morass.’
    • ‘These morasses usually had a green moss growing on them, and were most inviting to gallop over.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Trails through the jungle growth were impassable by the muddy morass.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘We need designers who demonstrate exceptional comprehension: designers who are able to flesh out the meaning from the morass.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's become a legal morass, muddied by claims of incompetence and backroom deals.’
    • ‘It must be said, however, that education policy is usually a morass of conflicting interests and alternative orientations.’
    • ‘The first years of the program were a morass of infighting, failed launches, and neglect.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It makes the last two years of Smith's life sound unbearable, a morass of depression, insomnia, paranoia, drug and alcohol abuse and overwork.’
    • ‘The overall visa problem is really a morass of smaller problems that plague international students and visiting scientists.’
    • ‘Their bond is deep, and they have found mutual understanding amid a morass of confusion.’
    • ‘The chain grew to 149 stores, but eventually collapsed in a morass of disputes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I felt that the plans team was slowly sinking into a morass of detail.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But this whole issue has been lost in a morass of other complications.’
    • ‘The plot of the film is a morass of absolute stupidity.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.