mud·​dy | \ ˈmə-dē How to pronounce muddy (audio) \
muddier; muddiest

Definition of muddy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : morally impure : base
2a : full of or covered with mud
b : characteristic or suggestive of mud a muddy flavor muddy colors
c : turbid with sediment
3a : lacking in clarity or brightness : cloudy, dull a muddy recording eyes muddy with sleep
b : obscure in meaning : muddled, confused muddy thinking


muddied; muddying

Definition of muddy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : confuse
2 : to soil or stain with or as if with mud
3 : to make turbid
4 : to make cloudy or dull
muddy the waters
: to make a situation more confusing or difficult

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from muddy


muddily \ ˈmə-​də-​lē How to pronounce muddy (audio) \ adverb
muddiness \ ˈmə-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce muddy (audio) \ noun

Examples of muddy in a Sentence

Adjective please do not walk in the house with muddy boots on, as you will get the carpet dirty whether muddy or not, water taken from lakes and streams should be boiled by campers Verb The flooding muddied the roads. She muddied the color by adding some brown. muddying the line between fact and fiction The debate further muddied the issues.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The two approaches cancel each other out, leaving a muddy uncertainty., "In ‘Wrath of Man,’ Jason Statham works for an armored car company. Now there’s trouble.," 6 May 2021 Breonna, trained by Steve Margolis, rode to victory in the six-furlong race under jockey Corey Lanerie on a muddy track as rain pelted Louisville. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Filly named after Breonna Taylor, owned by family's lawyer, wins Kentucky Derby week race," 29 Apr. 2021 To watch this film is to be filled with the pure joy of seeing women in muddy denim cutoffs alternate between ripping perfect berms—eyes laser focused, bikes a blur—and chugging beers. Maren Larsen, Outside Online, "Let Women in Outdoor Films Be Jackasses," 27 Apr. 2021 Four days after John vanished, his gray 2015 Toyota Prius (license plate # 75F-457) was located by police several miles up a muddy, rugged road known as Wheeler Pass in the Spring Mountains, Officer Aden OcampoGomez told Dateline. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, "Family pleads for answers on whereabouts of John Schultz weeks after rideshare driver's car was found abandoned in rural Las Vegas," 27 Apr. 2021 On April 27, 1865, a boiler on the Sultana exploded, engulfing the steamship in flames before sinking it into a muddy grave on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, "Sultana Disaster Museum project to receive state funds," 27 Apr. 2021 Over the past century, Anchorage progressed from a muddy, almost nothing of a railroad stop to the economic center of the state. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "The evolution of Anchorage has been shaped by notable women; here are several examples.," 26 Apr. 2021 Saturday's action included some exceptional shots by players further back in the field, including Sam Ryder's double eagle from 206 yards on the par-5 second hole and Wyndham Clark's 106-yard approach from the muddy edge of a water hazard on 16. Brett Martel, ajc, "Oosthuizen-Schwartzel surge to Zurich Classic 3rd-round lead," 25 Apr. 2021 In a driving rain, vigilantes on horseback herded about two hundred Chinese on a muddy march to the train station. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "The Forgotten History of the Purging of Chinese from America," 22 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What has complicated all of this is that Victor Oladipo is an impending free agent, with money tending to muddy so much in this league. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Is there an end in sight to Victor Oladipo’s lingering pain?," 21 Apr. 2021 And there’s no context to know outside of those things that would muddy the waters. Bruce Schneier, Wired, "Hackers Used to Be Humans. Soon, AIs Will Hack Humanity," 19 Apr. 2021 The findings don’t mean that there is no link between color and quality — just that the microstructures muddy that connection a bit, in a way that could allow mediocre males to seem like standout mates., "Some male birds fly under false colors to attract mates, study suggests," 21 Apr. 2021 And the net change can muddy the fact that there are losses as well as gains, plus costs related to the transition. Michael Lynch, Forbes, "The Bad Economics Beyond Green Job Creation," 6 Apr. 2021 However, revising the blueprint can muddy that timeline. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, "California nears COVID-19 vaccine target that would ease more reopening rules," 5 Apr. 2021 Starting a business during the pandemic and trying not to muddy the waters with your existing contacts from your full-time job can be a juggling act. Callie Johnson, Forbes, "Five Things You Shouldn't Do While Working Full-Time And Starting A Side Hustle," 9 Mar. 2021 Such autopsy arguments, suggests Brandt, could muddy the picture of what exactly caused Floyd’s death. Alex Perez, ABC News, "The legal landscape of the Derek Chauvin trial," 8 Mar. 2021 And that motivated reason can muddy the process of gathering evidence. Philip Kiefer, Popular Science, "Identifying animals in photos is trickier than you might think," 2 Mar. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of muddy


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about muddy

Time Traveler for muddy

Time Traveler

The first known use of muddy was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for muddy

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Muddy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for muddy



English Language Learners Definition of muddy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: filled or covered with mud
: similar to mud
: not clear or bright : dull or cloudy



English Language Learners Definition of muddy (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover (something) with mud
: to make (a color) cloudy or dull
: to cause (something) to become unclear or confused


mud·​dy | \ ˈmə-dē How to pronounce muddy (audio) \
muddier; muddiest

Kids Definition of muddy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : filled or covered with mud a muddy pond muddy shoes
2 : looking like mud a muddy color
3 : not clear or bright : dull muddy skin
4 : being mixed up muddy thinking


muddied; muddying

Kids Definition of muddy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cover with mud She muddied her clothes.
2 : to make cloudy or dull (as in color)
3 : to become or cause to become confused

More from Merriam-Webster on muddy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for muddy

Nglish: Translation of muddy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of muddy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on muddy

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!