from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various mosses of the genus Sphagnum of wet acidic areas, having long fibrous leafy stems, the decomposed remains of which form a type of peat.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[New Latin, from Latin sphagnos, a kind of moss, from Greek, a kind of shrub.]


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

    October 25, 2007

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

    October 25, 2007

  • Squelchy. What a great word.

    October 25, 2007

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

    October 25, 2007