from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various pale or ashy mosses of the genus Sphagnum, the decomposed remains of which form peat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various widely distributed mosses, of the genus Sphagnum, which slowly decompose to form peat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of mosses having white leaves slightly tinged with red or green and found growing in marshy places; bog moss; peat moss.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A genus of mosses, the peat- or bog-mosses, the only representative of the order Sphagnaceæ. For characters, see Sphagnaceæ.
  • n. A mass or quantity of moss of this genus: often used attributively; as, sphagnum moss; a sphagnum. bog.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various pale or ashy mosses of the genus Sphagnum whose decomposed remains form peat


New Latin, from Latin sphagnos, a kind of moss, from Greek, a kind of shrub.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • Agreed. I like sphagnum as well, but it does sound like some bizarre, but named, curve in the human intestine.

    October 25, 2007

  • Squelchy. What a great word.

    October 25, 2007

  • Isn't sphagnum that word that has something to do with frog-tossing? Guess not.

    October 25, 2007

  • A supremely squelchy word - just like the sound it makes when you plant a boot in it.

    October 25, 2007