muddy

adjective
mud·​dy | \ˈmə-dē \
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

muddy

verb
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

Adjective

muddily \ ˈmə-​də-​lē \ adverb
muddiness \ ˈmə-​dē-​nəs \ 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

They were found more than a week later, stuck on a small muddy patch deep in the cave’s network of chambers. Shibani Mahtani, BostonGlobe.com, "Rescuers bring 4 more Thai boys out of flooded cave," 9 July 2018 And while rescuers have drilled a hole in the side of the cave and have pumped out muddy water for days so divers can reach the boys, some passageways are still flooded. J. Weston Phippen, Outside Online, "The Thai Soccer Team Trapped in a Cave Was Found Alive," 2 July 2018 The 25-track double-album finds Drake slashing his way through the muddy waters of hip-hop gossip, baby mama drama, and his contentious feud with Pusha T. Rather than bluff and bluster, Drizzy aims and fires with bullets of candor. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "DJ Premier on Making Drake's 'Sandra's Rose' & Their Unfinished Song 'Sail' With Rick Ross," 29 June 2018 Xavier wades through the muddy waters of cohabitation with men and women who don’t share his customs or language. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 45 Best Travel Films of All Time," 11 May 2018 The Ohio River receded, but left behind muddy patches and stripped away some of the grass. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "Smale Park transformed into a music festival. This is what it looked like.," 30 Apr. 2018 African antelope grazed here, and hippos wallowed in the muddy waters of the lake. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Saudi Arabian fossil find puts finger on the story of human dispersal," 9 Apr. 2018 The jig bite has slowed because of muddy waters around the near-shore reefs. cleveland.com, "Fishing Report for March 30: Rain, wind put a damper on local fishing," 30 Mar. 2018 Fishing in upper Mobile Bay has slowed due to fresh, muddy water; www.ateamfishing.com. Frank Sargeant, AL.com, "Friday Fishing Report," 23 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There is certainly something to be said for him potentially just muddying the waters or potentially not getting the whole, straight story from Trump. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Rudy Giuliani undermines two of Trump’s biggest scandal-related denials," 9 July 2018 Best to raise holy hell and, at least, muddy the waters. John Baer, Philly.com, "A deeper dive into Pennsylvania's latest political poll," 17 June 2018 Further muddying the waters, Ambrose filed a site map with the city that shows nine buildings, four parking garages and a helicopter pad. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "St. Vincent Health withdraws plans for Carmel site," 5 June 2018 This team and this season do not appear to be fixable, so the Orioles should be wary of muddying up the situation with a quick fix. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Schmuck: Orioles should beware of the quick fix, because this season is not fixable," 2 June 2018 Some conservatives feel uneasy about the idea of muddying up traditional trade talks. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Use Nafta to Ease Regulation," 12 Apr. 2018 The monster winds last week kicked the Lake Erie water levels up a couple of feet and muddied the waters from Ohio to Ontario. D'arcy Egan, cleveland.com, "Fishing Report for March 23: Wet, warm weather a boost for river anglers," 23 Mar. 2018 Potentially further muddying negotiations is the situation surrounding Mr. Klein, who himself has been accused of forcibly kissing a former staffer in 2015. Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "Tackling Sexual Harassment With ‘Bipartisan Bad Behavior’ in Shadows," 11 Mar. 2018 President Donald Trump’s administration excels at muddying the water, and the arrest of a former Senate aide, following an inquiry in which federal agents seized records from a New York Times reporter, might be its best work yet. Callum Borchers, Philly.com, "How a reporter's romance with her source muddies the FBI's seizure of her records," 8 June 2018

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about muddy

Statistics for muddy

Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for muddy

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for muddy

muddy

adjective

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

muddy

verb

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

muddy

adjective
mud·​dy | \ˈmə-dē \
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

muddy

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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