\ 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.

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Other Words from murky

murkily \ ˈmər-​kə-​lē How to pronounce murky (audio) \ adverb
murkiness \ ˈmər-​kē-​nəs How to pronounce murky (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 The history of Filipino American settlement in St. Malo is murky. Rachel Ramirez, CNN, 17 Oct. 2021 Tuesday’s announcement means that Irving’s future with the Nets may be murky, but his future in the NBA may be uncertain entirely. Derek Saul, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Details about the scope of the recent oil spill in Orange County are still murky, but officials say as much as 144,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from a 17.7-mile pipeline that runs from the Elly platform to the Port of Long Beach. Los Angeles Times, 8 Oct. 2021 Although history is murky about who did it first, those Viet-Cajun boils wound up inside clear plastic bags, drowning in rich pools of garlicky butter, lemon pepper, Cajun spice and Asian lemongrass. Phillip Valys,, 24 Sep. 2021 Much remains murky about Craig’s final hours, but his family believes the Facebook Marketplace listing that caught his attention and led him to Holmes County was a trap used to lure him to his death. Craig Silverman, ProPublica, 22 Sep. 2021 Former President Barack Obama ended overseas coal finance, but Biden has been murky about his approach to natural gas exports. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, 8 Jan. 2021 Details of the anticorruption strikes are often murky but many have affected officials considered rivals to Mr. Xi. James T. Areddy, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2021 But in a state that is struggling to combat the virus, the picture of exactly how many people have chosen to protect themselves from serious illness or death is murky., 30 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of murky

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near murky



murky bass

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Murky.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for murky



English Language Learners Definition of murky

: very dark or foggy
: not clear : cloudy
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on murky

Nglish: Translation of murky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of murky for Arabic Speakers


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