There is a popular character named Don Quixote from literature. He was a little bit off his rocker and thought he was a valiant knight out to save the world. He rode this really broken down horse named Rocinante (it wasn’t in much better shape than a donkey). Of course, neither man nor horse could change the world. So anybody who, like Don Quixote, believes they can attain some monumental goal is quixotic.
A quag is an area of marshy ground and mire is also marshy ground. Put them together and you get really marshy ground. Of course, the real definition is a little more practical than that: a tough situation that it is very difficult to get out of. If you fail your first round of midterms, you’ll have a very tough time pulling yourself out of that quagmire.
This word is pronounced im-pyoon. To impugn somebody is to call into question what somebody is saying. If I tell you that the SAT is a test filled with chemical formulas and physics equations, hopefully you’ll swiftly impugn this claim.
This has nothing to do with wooly quadrupeds (that’s a word meaning four-legged animal). To lambaste somebody is to scold them severely. You know, to give them a tongue lashing. Think of the gym teacher who calls you a worthless shrimp when you are unable to do more than five push-ups.