muddle

1 of 2

verb

mud·​dle ˈmə-dᵊl How to pronounce muddle (audio)
muddled; muddling ˈməd-liŋ How to pronounce muddle (audio)
ˈmə-dᵊl-iŋ

transitive verb

1
: to make turbid or muddy
muddled the brook with his splashings
2
: to befog or stupefy (see stupefy sense 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 positionsA. N. Whitehead

intransitive verb

: to think or act in a confused aimless way
She muddled along for a year before going to college.
muddler
ˈməd-lər How to pronounce muddle (audio)
ˈmə-dᵊl-ər
noun

muddle

2 of 2

noun

1
: a state of especially mental confusion
2
: a confused mess
muddly
ˈməd-lē How to pronounce muddle (audio)
ˈmə-dᵊl-ē
adjective

Examples of muddle in a Sentence

Verb a car shopper thoroughly muddled by too much well-meaning advice some mischievous brat had muddled the household accounts Noun His papers were in a muddle. His mind was a muddle.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
There, her sonic sweetness muddles after a crisp drum fill somewhere in the middle. Maria Sherman, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 May 2024 The message, often muddled or rehashed, has hit home for many, with fans mobbing Bardella for selfies at his campaign stops. TIME, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for muddle 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'muddle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

1676, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of muddle was in 1676

Dictionary Entries Near muddle

Cite this Entry

“Muddle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/muddle. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

muddle

1 of 2 verb
mud·​dle ˈməd-ᵊl How to pronounce muddle (audio)
muddled; muddling ˈməd-liŋ How to pronounce muddle (audio)
-ᵊl-iŋ
1
: to be or cause to be confused or bewildered : stupefy
muddled by too much advice
2
: to mix up in a confused way
muddle the household accounts
3
: to think or act in a confused way : bungle
muddle through a task
muddler
-lər How to pronounce muddle (audio)
-ᵊl-ər
noun

muddle

2 of 2 noun
1
: a state of confusion or bewilderment
2
: a confused mess : jumble

More from Merriam-Webster on muddle

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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