\ˈmək \

Definition of muck 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : soft moist farmyard manure

2 : slimy dirt or filth

3a : defamatory remarks or writings

b : rubbish, nonsense mindless muck

4a(1) : dark highly organic soil

(2) : mire, mud

b : something resembling muck : gunk

5 : material removed in the process of excavating or mining


mucked; mucking; mucks

Definition of muck (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to clean up especially : to clear of manure or filth usually used with out

b : to clear of muck

2 : to dress (something, such as soil) with muck

3 : to dirty with or as if with muck : soil

intransitive verb

1 : to move or load muck (as in a mine)

2a : to engage in aimless activity usually used with about or around

b : putter, tinker usually used with about or around mucking around with his computer

c : interfere, meddle usually used with about or around

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Other Words from muck


mucky \ ˈmə-​kē \ adjective


mucker noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for muck

Synonyms: Noun

crud, dirt, filth, grime, gunk, smut, soil

Synonyms: Verb

befoul, begrime, bemire, besmirch, blacken, daub, dirty, foul, grime, mire, muddy, smirch, smudge, soil, stain, sully

Antonyms: Verb

clean, cleanse

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Examples of muck in a Sentence


Clean that muck off your shoes. spattered with muck from the pigpen


you can't work in the garden and not expect to muck your clothes
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Worse, the truck itself could be buried to the axles in muck. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, "How 4X4s Got So Good," 18 May 2016 The sewage crisis has given Mia Mottley, the opposition leader, plenty of muck to fling. The Economist, "Barbados’s mucky election," 24 May 2018 Despite his meanderings, Donovan writes memorable melodies, and sorting through the sonic muck to locate a tuneful core makes listening to his records a bit like a treasure hunt. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Mike Donovan sheds the loose structures of the Peacers to get totally wiggy," 11 May 2018 Gurda's history has not only flow but also a pleasing dynamic balance between humans and geology, the lives of regular people and the doings of muckety-mucks. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee loves its rivers and Lake Michigan — and keeps abusing them, too," 3 July 2018 Wochit About 70 rotting animal carcasses and knee-deep muck surrounded five skeletal cattle found starving last fall across two Livingston County locations. Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press, "Among 70 dead cattle, these 5 survived in knee-deep muck to be rescued," 5 Feb. 2018 It was nicknamed by some residents of the Haralson Estates neighborhood several years ago, as plants, trees and muck took refuge in the water, with garbage floating among it. Ryan Gillespie,, "Orlando's muck- and junk-filled 'Lake Nasty' could be in line for a cleanup," 6 July 2018 Along with inside-baseball meetings with the public radio programming muckety mucks during the day, there will be three Free at Noon concerts running Wednesday though the closing event mid-day on Friday. Dan Deluca,, "How to watch Non-Comm, WXPN's indie music showcase," 15 May 2018 Still, there was no stopping the heavenly dumping, which turned much of Irvington Boulevard's esplanade to muck, disintegrated reporters' notebooks into pulp and overwhelmed stormed drains. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Undaunted by downpours, Lindale Park holds July 4 parade," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That’s thanks to a blob of drier air leaking into Central Florida, which is partly a result of Hurricane Chris mucking with the atmosphere, said National Weather Service forecaster Scott Kelly. Kevin Spear,, "Orlando could sizzle this week with hottest weather of the year," 11 July 2018 On Palmyra Atoll near Hawaii, for instance, rodents were even mucking with terrestrial vegetation. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Rats! Coral Reefs Aren't Getting the Bird Poop They Need," 11 July 2018 There is just one tendril of brain tissue that can be seen from outside the body without any mucking about of this sort. The Economist, "The eye's structure holds information about the health of the mind," 28 June 2018 It was headed for record fast territory until Chris Martin and Jose Leclerc mucked it up with a less-than-sharp eighth inning. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Streaks, homer-saving catches and a near Minor miracle," 27 June 2018 In an experiment that asked adult players to predict what would happen next in a video clip, the best performers had spent more time mucking around aged six to ten. The Economist, "What makes a country good at football?," 9 June 2018 Given the technical difficulty of the 20-minute loop, there was some apprehension shifting gears while mucking about. Robert Duffer,, "2018 Jeep Wrangler rules the off-road world," 26 Apr. 2018 Any other scenario, barring some kind of injury, would really muck things up next year and for the future. Bill Landis,, "Dwayne Haskins should think Ohio State's QB job is his to lose, even if the coaches won't say it," 23 Mar. 2018 The plot revolves around a man whose dreams can alter the fabric of reality, and a mad scientist who tries to use this power to create a utopia on earth—but only succeeds in mucking things up even worse. Lincoln Michel, GQ, "Ursula K. Le Guin Was Our Greatest Science Fiction Writer," 25 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'muck.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of muck


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for muck


Middle English muk, perhaps from Old English -moc; akin to Old Norse myki dung

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Statistics for muck

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for muck

The first known use of muck was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for muck



English Language Learners Definition of muck

: wet dirt or mud

: solid waste from farm animals

: something that is disgusting


\ˈmək \

Kids Definition of muck

1 : mud, mire

2 : soft moist barnyard manure

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Comments on muck

What made you want to look up muck? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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