Definition of muckrake
: to search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business
Did You Know?
The noun "muckrake" (literally, a rake for "muck," i.e., manure) rose out of the dung heap and into the realm of literary metaphor in 1684. That's when John Bunyan used it in Pilgrim's Progress to represent man's preoccupation with earthly things. "The Man with the Muckrake," he wrote, "could look no way but downward." In a 1906 speech, Teddy Roosevelt recalled Bunyan's words while railing against journalists he thought focused too much on exposing corruption in business and government. Roosevelt called them "the men with the muck-rakes" and implied that they needed to learn "when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward." Investigative reporters weren't insulted; they adopted the term "muckraker" as a badge of honor. And soon English speakers were using the verb "muckrake" for the practice of exposing misconduct.
Origin of muckrake
obsolete muckrake, noun, rake for dung
First Known Use: 1879
Rhymes with muckrake
air brake, awake, backache, beefcake, beefsteak, betake, blacksnake, bull snake, canebrake, caretake, cheesecake, cheesesteak, clambake, club steak, corncrake, cube steak, cupcake, daybreak, disc brake, drum brake, earache, earthquake, fair shake, fast break, firebreak, firedrake, fish cake, flank steak, forsake, friedcake, fruitcake, green snake, grubstake, hand brake, handshake, headache, heartache, heartbreak, hoecake, hotcake, housebreak, intake, jailbreak, keepsake, king snake, lapstrake, mandrake, milk snake, mistake, moonquake, namesake, newsbreak, oatcake, oil cake, opaque, outbreak, outtake, Pan-Cake, pancake, partake, pound cake, pump fake, rat snake, remake, retake, rewake, rock brake, seaquake, sea snake, seedcake, sheldrake, shortcake, snowflake, sponge cake, Swiss steak, tea cake, toothache, unmake, uptake, wheat cake, windbreak, wind shake, youthquake
Learn More about muckrake
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up muckrake? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).