Definition of murky in English:


adjectivemurkier, murkiest

  • 1Dark and gloomy, especially due to thick mist.

    ‘the sky was murky and a thin drizzle was falling’
    • ‘You breathe in and your lungs fill with a murky mist that threatens to choke the life right out of you.’
    • ‘By this time the sky had turned a murky grey and the sea was being whipped up by the wind… and then we were met by the pier master with the bad news that the ferry was cancelled.’
    • ‘Those crisp winter days have gone and left a murky grey sky…’
    • ‘Much of the image is washed-out and dark scenes are murky with poor shadow detail.’
    • ‘Contrast levels are sharp, shadows are not murky, but blacks do occasionally suffer into a very dark gray.’
    • ‘Dark, cold and murky days are a plenty and can be expected from now until Christmas and all outdoor activities in gardens can be expected to cease.’
    • ‘The picture is often dark and grainy, shadow detail is quite murky and poor, and the colors seem slightly faded most of the time.’
    • ‘The gravestones were barely seen through a thick layer of murky fog that encompassed everything it could get its claws around.’
    • ‘Over the rolling, variegated hills, where virulent yellow rape seed mingles with brown arable land and verdant fruit farms, a grey, murky pallor is cast.’
    • ‘Some grain and sometimes murky shadow detail are the only real flaws, but despite them the film looks very nice.’
    • ‘We drank some more and watched the sky turn from murky brown to misty grey to a pale blue.’
    • ‘The view from here is not as dark and murky as it was when I gripped the door handle of my car, practically paralyzed with fear and horror.’
    • ‘Last year it was dull and murky all morning the day of the party, but it brightened up after lunch.’
    • ‘Infrared is particularly effective for penetrating thick, murky regions of space and revealing what lies beyond.’
    • ‘The air was thick and murky, and she began to imagine horrible things coming for her.’
    • ‘When the dead leaves rustle, the wind rattles the skeletons of trees, and ragged clouds scud across a murky moon, there's an ominous frisson in the air.’
    • ‘What little light that was given off was dulled to a murky yellow from the tobacco and smoke coming from the various pot and cigarette smokers in the room.’
    • ‘The sun still shone but somehow it seemed murky and dulled.’
    • ‘It wasn't dark, just the murky light you get from storm clouds.’
    • ‘I squinted through the thick, murky black of the night, my eyes following the progress of the light.’
    dark, gloomy, grey, leaden, dull, dim, overcast, cloudy, clouded, sunless, foggy, misty, dismal, dreary, bleak, louring, threatening, cheerless, depressing, shadowy, sombre
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    1. 1.1 (of liquid) dark and dirty; not clear.
      ‘the murky silt of a muddy pond’
      • ‘He was immersed in the dark murky water, surrounded with all types of sea creatures.’
      • ‘She is going with the kids and her mother and now the washing machine is broken, filled with dirty clothes and murky water.’
      • ‘North, midlands, or south, clear water or murky water, barbel are a great species.’
      • ‘Garbage mounds and junk shops hem in the lake, its murky waters shared by lilies and plastic bottles.’
      • ‘The water was so murky I could not see anything but dark shapes.’
      • ‘With the steamers serving alcohol at the well-stocked bar and the paddles churning through the murky waters, many travellers were happy to stay on board.’
      • ‘This latter sighting's a timely reminder that while the canal's murky water may look inviting in the heat of the day, swimming's not an option for cooling off.’
      • ‘Then, as the murky water recedes, it leaves behind slush and debris that could take weeks to be cleared.’
      • ‘Peering down into the murky water, I sensed that something terrifying lay beneath the surface.’
      • ‘You can't get them to go anywhere near nice, clean baths full of the stuff for weeks at a time, but show them a murky, grey septic tank and they will fall in it within seconds.’
      • ‘The sharks were circling me slowly in the dark, murky water.’
      • ‘The St. Mary's River is a wide channel of dark murky water.’
      • ‘As part of a training exercise they waded into the lake looking for remnants of a bridge that has been hidden beneath the murky waters since it collapsed in the 1960s.’
      • ‘I studied the murky water closely and was rewarded with a sudden surface turbulence that looked to be a fish.’
      • ‘Stretching along the front of the stall was a tank of murky water in which a tangle of long, dark eels writhed.’
      • ‘Look out for the wooden houses on stilts along the riverbank, in which many families still live, using the murky water of the Chao Praya for everything from drinking to washing.’
      • ‘Like a finger jutting out into the murky waters of the Humber, the Inner Bull Nose used to be a good spot to watch the trawlers easing their way in and out of the river.’
      • ‘ON A rain-lashed November day two years ago, a pleasure barge sailing up the River Hull clipped a large object, hidden beneath the murky waters.’
      • ‘Authorities say no one saw him because the water was so murky.’
      • ‘At the pier, he described a stringy plant floating in the murky water as a weedy species that had escaped from aquariums.’
      dirty, muddy, cloudy, turbid, opaque
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  • 2Obscure or morally questionable.

    ‘a government minister with a murky past’
    • ‘A series of murky killings by both factions have taken place over the past year, calling the ceasefire in the region in question.’
    • ‘But the murky secret of a dead girl and the politics of the pair's ultimate estrangement is difficult to work through.’
    • ‘This language of the plain and the crystal clear conceals the fact that we navigate in murky waters.’
    • ‘The economic models for interactive TV services are murky and obscure in the best of circumstances.’
    • ‘These and other questions quiver in an atmosphere ever more murky with suspicion, doubt and fear.’
    • ‘The event highlights the murky grey area that exists for Hong Kong residents who get caught up in legal troubles on the mainland.’
    • ‘A piece of York's murky past emerged from the depths, when workers on the Ouse came across an old barrow in the river.’
    • ‘Debt is now firmly part of my murky past - my bright future lies in saving and investing!’
    • ‘The film's attitude to these questions is murky at best.’
    • ‘Noir is supposed to be morally murky, but few films approach the level of depravity present here.’
    • ‘In the murky world of international espionage, rumours abound about the credibility of his information.’
    • ‘The secrets of this murky underworld are revealed here, for the first time, in a transcript of a secret telephone conversation.’
    • ‘As apartheid ended, South Africa faced thousands of dark questions about its past, with murky answers for its future.’
    • ‘Contacts from the resistance led me into the morally murky world of international weapons sales.’
    • ‘If the past was murky, the future looks even more so.’
    • ‘The president hopes so, but the limited number of rulings and writings leaves that question murky.’
    • ‘We don't see any flashbacks to the gory details, but the script makes it plain that this is a man with a murky past, who has indeed used his position to exploit his female students.’
    • ‘Growing up in Cold War Australia in the 1960s, I was vaguely aware of this murky family past, though it was rarely talked about.’
    • ‘Among the many murky questions surrounding the killing is the mysterious background of the assailants.’
    • ‘In the murky world of seventeenth-century espionage and plotting, casual brutality was all too common fare.’
    questionable, suspicious, suspect, dubious, dark, mysterious, secret
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