Definition of Serbonian in English:

Serbonian

(also Sirbonian)

adjective

  • Of, relating to, or resembling Lake Serbonis, a shallow lagoon in north-eastern Egypt, variously described in antiquity as being surfaced with sand, surrounded by marshland, or boggy and partly dry. Frequently used allusively to refer something (especially a situation or predicament) from which it is difficult to extricate oneself, now especially in "Serbonian bog".

Origin

Early 17th century; earliest use found in Joshua Sylvester (d. 1618), poet and translator. From classical Latin Sirbonis (Pliny; in post-classical Latin also Serbonis, Syrbonis) and its etymon ancient Greek Σερβωνίς (in Hellenistic Greek also Σιρβωνίς) + -an.

Pronunciation

Serbonian

/səːˈbəʊnɪən/