\ ˈmər-kē How to pronounce murky (audio) \
murkier; murkiest

Definition of murky

1 : characterized by a heavy dimness or obscurity caused by or like that caused by overhanging fog or smoke the murky bottom of the lake
2 : characterized by thickness and heaviness of air : foggy, misty rain poured down from murky skiesNewsweek
3 : darkly vague or obscure murky official rhetoric He offered a murky explanation.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from murky

murkily \ -​kə-​lē How to pronounce murkily (audio) \ adverb
murkiness \ -​kē-​nəs How to pronounce murkiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of murky in a Sentence

She peered into one of the church's murky chapels. a politician with a murky past

Recent Examples on the Web

But the truth here is a little murkier than the headlines. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Those Controversial 3D-Printed Guns, Explained," 31 July 2018 When researchers discovered the first G-objects observed near our galaxy's supermassive black hole more than a decade ago (G1 was observed in 2004, and G2 was observed in 2012), their identity was a bit murky. Chelsea Gohd,, "Mysterious 'Puffy' Objects Lurk Near the Milky Way's Monster Black Hole," 11 June 2018 Several lawmakers are trying to twist Parliament’s arcane and murky procedures to their advantage and take Brexit in their preferred direction by forcing votes on amendments on Mrs. May’s deal. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Brexit Deal Hangs in Balance as May Braces for Defeat in Crucial Vote," 15 Jan. 2019 And while SpaceX is still the most prolific launch provider in the US, its long-term plans are a bit murkier. Loren Grush, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: SpaceX," 29 Dec. 2018 One thing fans may be more confused about, however, is the series' murky fate in the wake of the film's launch. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Not Bander-snatched: Black Mirror confirms fifth season plans," 28 Dec. 2018 All of this is made possible by an abdication of duty to privacy, enabled in large by an intentionally murky definition of what qualifies as user data. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Facebook Was Never Really For You," 19 Dec. 2018 Say Her Name, a new documentary, is diving into the murky questions around Sandy's death — namely, the official ruling of suicide and the allegations of a killing and cover-up. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Sandra Bland's Family Talks Fighting for the Complete Truth in New "Say Her Name" Documentary," 3 Dec. 2018 But rules are murkier for items that are trickier to travel with—pies for Thanksgiving, say, or a live lobster. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "The AskTSA Twitter Account Will Tell You Everything You Can't Bring on an Airplane," 8 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'murky.' 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 murky

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about murky

Dictionary Entries near murky





murky bass

murky waters


Statistics for murky

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for murky

The first known use of murky was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for murky



English Language Learners Definition of murky

: very dark or foggy
of a liquid : not clear
: not clearly expressed or understood


\ ˈmər-kē How to pronounce murky (audio) \
murkier; murkiest

Kids Definition of murky

1 : very dark or foggy murky skies
2 : cloudy sense 2 murky water
3 : not clearly expressed or understood The details were murky and vague.— Lois Lowry, The Giver

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on murky

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with murky

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for murky

Spanish Central: Translation of murky

Nglish: Translation of murky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of murky for Arabic Speakers

Comments on murky

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


a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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