\ ˈmək How to pronounce muck (audio) \

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 How to pronounce mucky (audio) \ 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, distain [archaic], foul, gaum [dialect], 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

Power through that hike, stomp through the parking lot for some spring skiing, and get out into the muck for some hunting. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Boots for Stomping Through Mud," 29 Mar. 2019 News that the liberal, California billionaire has emerged as a likely buyer for the National Enquirer is the latest startling twist in the long history of that tabloid, which was founded as a muck-raking New York weekly in 1926. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Why It Makes Perfect Sense That Billionaire Ron Burkle Would Buy The Enquirer," 11 Apr. 2019 And the character played by Chlumsky, Amy Brookheimer, perpetually vying to be Selina’s right-hand-woman, offers a kind of mirror of this attitude, masochistically wading in the muck of politics, but rarely doing so in pants. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Anna Chlumsky: Veep Was Never a Show About Feminism. And It Was Always a Show About Feminism.," 29 Mar. 2019 Out of the muck of the late 1980s, determined environmental conservation efforts sprang up. Darryl Fears, Washington Post, "Why New Jersey is leading the resistance to Trump’s offshore drilling plan," 27 May 2018 But by Saturday morning, a new team of officers was able to spot it in the muck after about 10 to 15 minutes of, well, mucking around. Charles Passy, WSJ, "NYPD to the Rescue in Case of the Lost Engagement Ring," 2 Dec. 2018 Gray muck has been seeing flowing into the Cape Fear River near the site. Fox News, "The Latest: NC watching coal ash sites swamped by floods," 22 Sep. 2018 In addition to hordes of visitors and engagement with the museum, curators saw an unexpected artistic response to the petrified muck. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "London museum is livestreaming a key 21st-century artifact—festering sewage," 18 Aug. 2018 The dam, owned by Brazilian iron-ore giant Vale SA, burst on Friday, burying the company’s local offices, a busy lunchroom and a nearby village under a thick layer of reddish-brown muck. Paulo Trevisani, WSJ, "Death Toll From Brazilian Dam Collapse Jumps to 99," 30 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Still, after mucking our way through a couple of rounds, the massive decision space started to feel more manageable. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Eight great board games we played at PAX Unplugged," 8 Dec. 2018 And the smallest unforeseen detail can muck something up at the last minute. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 But by Saturday morning, a new team of officers was able to spot it in the muck after about 10 to 15 minutes of, well, mucking around. Charles Passy, WSJ, "NYPD to the Rescue in Case of the Lost Engagement Ring," 2 Dec. 2018 Players need to balance making progress on their own goals with mucking about in opponents' realms, hoping to disrupt their plans, and the game continues in this fashion until someone satisfies a win condition. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Play a Disney villain in new Villainous board game," 25 Aug. 2018 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

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

15 May 2019

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
chiefly British : solid waste from farm animals
informal : something that is disgusting


\ ˈmək How to pronounce muck (audio) \

Kids Definition of muck

1 : mud, mire
2 : soft moist barnyard manure

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More from Merriam-Webster on muck

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with muck

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for muck

Spanish Central: Translation of muck

Nglish: Translation of muck for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about muck

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).


showing courage and determination

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