mud·​dy | \ ˈmə-dē How to pronounce muddy (audio) \
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


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

Other Words from muddy


muddily \ ˈmə-​də-​lē How to pronounce muddy (audio) \ adverb
muddiness \ ˈmə-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce muddy (audio) \ 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 Thomas said the pool, as of Monday (April 4) had in it muddy water. cleveland, 6 Apr. 2022 The weather was wet, the ground was muddy and the course was fun and exciting! Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 7 Apr. 2022 Those who visit in the springtime should be sure to wear proper footwear as the Adirondacks this time of year can be muddy. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 5 Apr. 2022 The San Juan carries more sediment than the Colorado, and nonnative species like smallmouth bass are already present in the system above the waterfall but have not yet caused problems, possibly because the San Juan is too muddy. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Apr. 2022 According to Colbert County EMA, the suspect was described a white man in his 50s wearing a red hoodie, blue jeans and black tennis shoes, who may be muddy and have scratches and abrasions from being in a wooded area. William Thornton |, al, 16 Mar. 2022 There's a slight bass boost, but the sound is never muddy or overwhelming. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 12 Mar. 2022 Ukraine's territory is muddy in spring, bogging down tanks and other heavy Russian equipment. Jason Fields, The Week, 8 Mar. 2022 The ground could be too muddy to run a personnel carrier, the large machines with metal baskets on the side that workers could stand in. Julian Epp, The New Republic, 5 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The data is not adjusted for a range of factors that can muddy direct comparisons, like differences in underlying medical conditions or the length of time since vaccination. Alexander Tin, CBS News, 25 Mar. 2022 Trump's legal strategy has often been to sue everyone and everything as a way to muddy the waters around any one case and to slow down proceedings. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 7 Apr. 2022 Bot accounts, widely assumed to be run by government employees, muddy the picture by commenting and posting pro-government messages on VK, said Daria, a Moscow resident in her 20s. Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2022 At 6-4 and 25 years old, Chark is in a prime spot to sign a deal and take off in a better offensive system, but a slight frame and durability questions muddy the projection. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 12 Mar. 2022 And with tools like duetting and stitching, which allow people to easily become creators themselves by responding to existing videos, TikTok encourages everyone to collectively make sense of what’s going on—or muddy the truth. Chris Stokel-walker, Wired, 1 Mar. 2022 Houston looked good this weekend defending its trip to the Final Four and will aim to muddy up the Riverwalk to stall the Wildcats’ propensity for high flying. Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2022 Ukrainian troops have used portable antitank missiles to destroy countless Russian vehicles, while social media has been used by Russia’s government to try to muddy the facts on the ground with disinformation. Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2022 In not squarely supporting the trove of data demonstrating the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, the rapper and singer may have helped to muddy the waters at a time when clarity is urgent. Brandon Tensley, CNN, 14 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of muddy


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Muddy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for muddy


mud·​dy | \ ˈmə-dē How to pronounce muddy (audio) \
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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on muddy

Nglish: Translation of muddy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of muddy for Arabic Speakers


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