I am reading through a composition with the following sentence:

Children rarely get to spend quality time with their parents as both are bogged down with their own demanding schedules

Dictionary meanings:

Merium Dictionary: to cause (something) to sink in wet ground

Cambridge Dictionary: to be/become so involved in something difficult or complicated that you can not do anything else

But the author gave meaning for bogged down as : having to do several tasks

Is the above meaning completely correct? My understanding is although doing several tasks is important, it is “you can not do anything else” should get more focus.

could you share your thoughts and post it as answer, rather comments? Thanks

  • 1
    The usage appears valid and idiomatic, even if the meaning stated by the author was a hair off.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 1:17
  • 2
    @HotLicks By saying that the definition "having to do several tasks" is 'a hair off' do you mean that the definition is at the same time somewhat incomplete and a little too situation-specific? I would say that the definition of "bogged down" in this metaphorical sense should be "preoccupied by several compulsory tasks" but that other literal and metaphorical definitions exist. In this sense it's the preoccupation that has the person bogged down, not the tasks themselves.
    – BoldBen
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 3:29
  • 2
    “Having to do several tasks” is different from “having too much to do.” One can be bogged down by one task or many.
    – Xanne
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 4:19
  • 1
    @Michael “hair off” means “slightly off” ?
    – Rachayita
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 8:00
  • 1
    @user27485 - "A hair off" means slightly incorrect. Consider a metaphor on taking a measurement with a ruler and having the reading be incorrect by the width of a hair.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 0:38

1 Answer 1


"Children rarely get to spend quality time with their parents as both are bogged down with their own demanding schedules"

In this sentence here, I would say "bogged down" means something like "both are too busy" or "both have too much to do". The fact that the author specifies its meaning as "having to do several tasks" is misleading.

As Xanne in the comments said, you can be "bogged down" with just one task, or you might not be "bogged down" even if you "have several tasks to do", because those tasks are easily accomplished.

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