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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With its imagery of half-muddy stones being upturned on the road, this song has advanced lyrical conceits more of a piece with the level of writing she’s doing now than some of the slightly less precocious songs that follow. Chris Willman,, "Review: Taylor Swift turns on a facsimile machine for ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ and its ingenious recreations," 9 Apr. 2021 That remained true even when the big electric guitars and background harmonies kicked in, creating a wall of sound that never got muddy or distorted despite its many moving parts. Michael Andronico, CNN Underscored, "The Sonos Roam is a great portable speaker with serious smarts," 6 Apr. 2021 Over time, though, the terms have become somewhat muddy. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "10nm? 7nm? Who cares? Intel may be trying to ditch chip technology definitions," 30 Mar. 2021 Throughout the day on Friday, workers repaired power lines and utility poles, and the creek ran high, muddy from the post-storm deluge. al, "On the trail of an EF3: Tracking the path of March 25′s strongest Alabama tornado," 29 Mar. 2021 The problem was the rains hit and the field was too muddy for building the stage. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Readers remember their favorite San Diego concerts at now defunct Mission Valley stadium," 28 Mar. 2021 The logging road can be rough and muddy, so park along the main road and make the rest of the trek on foot. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's how you can see 7 Wisconsin waterfalls in one day," 25 Mar. 2021 The muddy result could extend the period of political uncertainty and polarization that has sent Israel reeling from election to election to election, failing each time to return a stable government. New York Times, "Netanyahu’s Party Leads but Faces Obstacles to Forming Government in Israel," 23 Mar. 2021 Plus, the ground near the shed will turn into a soggy, muddy quagmire after every rainstorm. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Shed in 7 Easy Steps," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Democrats say Republicans are trying to muddy the waters and shift the attention toward groups such as antifa, the loose network of far-left activists who have been associated with violence at protests against police brutality. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, "Plan for Jan. 6 Capitol Riot Commission Sparks Partisan Fighting in Congress," 24 Feb. 2021 The effort by Trump’s legal team amounted amounted to an effort to muddy the waters by drawing an equivalence and ignoring his false claims about voter fraud. Brian Slodysko, ajc, "Trial highlights: Trump grievances and the word 'fight'," 12 Feb. 2021 The most obvious key to victory is to muddy the waters against Ohio State's fantastic offense, force the Buckeyes to make long conversions and win the turnover battle by two or more. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "From Clemson to Coastal Carolina, these are five questions that will be answered in college football this week," 18 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of muddy


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for muddy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for muddy

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Muddy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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

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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

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