1

muddle

play
verb mud·dle \ ˈmə-dᵊl \

Definition of muddle

muddled; muddling play \ˈməd-liŋ, ˈmə-dᵊl-iŋ\
transitive verb
1 :to make turbid or muddy
  • muddled the brook with his splashings
2 :to befog or stupefy (see stupefy 1) especially with liquor
  • The drink muddled him and his voice became loud and domineering.
3 :to mix confusedly
  • muddles the household accounts
4 :to make a mess of :bungle
  • muddled themselves into the most indefensible positions
  • —A. N. Whitehead
intransitive verb
:to think or act in a confused aimless way
  • She muddled along for a year before going to college.

muddler

play \ˈməd-lər, ˈmə-dᵊl-ər\ noun

Examples of muddle in a Sentence

  1. a car shopper thoroughly muddled by too much well-meaning advice

  2. some mischievous brat had muddled the household accounts

Recent Examples of muddle from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of muddle

probably from obsolete Dutch moddelen, from Middle Dutch, from modde mud; akin to Middle Low German mudde


2

muddle

noun

Definition of muddle

1 :a state of especially mental confusion
2 :a confused mess

muddly

play \ˈməd-lē, ˈmə-dᵊl-ē\ adjective

Examples of muddle in a Sentence

  1. His papers were in a muddle.

  2. His mind was a muddle.

Recent Examples of muddle from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of muddle



MUDDLE Defined for English Language Learners

muddle

play
verb

Definition of muddle for English Language Learners

  • : to cause confusion in (someone or someone's mind)

  • : to mix up (something) in a confused way


muddle

noun

Definition of muddle for English Language Learners

  • : a state of confusion or disorder

  • : a situation or mistake caused by confusion

  • : a confused mess : a disordered mixture


MUDDLE Defined for Kids

1

muddle

play
verb mud·dle \ ˈmə-dᵊl \

Definition of muddle for Students

muddled; muddling
1 :to be or cause to be confused or bewildered
  • “Haven't I so muddled their brains they want to turn you loose?”
  • —Sid Fleischman, The Whipping Boy
2 :to mix up in a confused manner
  • They muddled the story.
3 :to think or proceed in a confused way
  • I somehow muddled through the task.

2

muddle

noun

Definition of muddle for Students

:a state of confusion


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