Definition of muck in English:

muck

noun

  • 1Dirt, rubbish, or waste matter.

    ‘I'll just clean the muck off the windshield’
    • ‘He pointed out that an ordinary person leaving muck on a road would have to clean up the road afterwards.’
    • ‘It was full of green slime and muck instead of crystal clean water.’
    • ‘A muck of built-up sewage and slime sits at the bottom of the deep, slow-moving, polluted water.’
    • ‘The bomb craters were so deep we couldn't walk down into them, so we struggled around their rims like ants, fighting for a purchase in dirt, muck and shattered roots.’
    • ‘This was an isolated incident, but residents were angry about the amount of muck, dirt and stones coming off each site on the lorries' wheels.’
    • ‘Then she screamed - the first scream of her adult life - as a slimy mixture of grease, muck and dirt poured out over her ankles.’
    • ‘We're under the river - you realize - covered by metal, cement, rock, dirt, silt, muck, and water.’
    • ‘The extraordinary attention to detail transports the viewer to Elizabethan London, from the grime and muck of the streets to the elegance of the palaces and nobility.’
    • ‘He says it's rather tacky, there are roadworks which haven't been fixed for days and the litter and muck just gets worse.’
    • ‘‘Surely there must be a better way than having people wade through muck and dirt to these sites,’ he said.’
    • ‘Apart from the litter have you also noticed the amount of muck and dirt on the roads this winter?’
    • ‘The smog monster Hedora is an interesting creation, being made entirely out of sludge and muck.’
    • ‘I finished the gutters, sprayed some water up there to clean out the muck, and then surveyed the entire leaf-in-yard situation.’
    • ‘I have lived like we did in the jungles, in dirt and filth and muck, unwashed and unkempt.’
    • ‘Not that there's much to see: what's at the bottom is not water, but muck and debris.’
    • ‘Wells provided the villagers with clean drinking water, rather than the chocolate-coloured muck I had been swimming in.’
    • ‘It was muck, sludge, and sewage every day of the campaign.’
    • ‘The floor was stone, but seemed to be hidden under a thin layer of muck, and debris from above.’
    • ‘The muck and mire are long gone, and the golf course looks much the same as it did on opening day.’
    • ‘At Dillard, floodwaters receded to reveal muck, debris and tangled tree branches.’
    dirt, grime, filth, mud, slime, sludge, scum, mire, mess, rubbish
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Farmyard manure, widely used as fertilizer.
      • ‘Fly tipped garden rubbish is as much a stain on the countryside as dog muck and litter.’
      • ‘Farmers poured milk onto muck heaps yesterday at the beginning of a three-day protest at low food prices.’
      • ‘When the Victorians planted them the only problem was sheep muck and cow muck.’
      • ‘A Darwen mother is refusing to let her daughter join a school ‘walking bus’ because she says the pavements are covered in dog muck.’
      • ‘We have some wonderful buildings in Trowbridge and they are just covered in bird muck.’
      • ‘I assume the ‘very’ brown boots refers to farmyard muck?’
      • ‘He obviously missed the description of wading through cow muck to get to the feed-sheds in the dead of winter!’
      • ‘Thousands of fish died when pig muck which was ten times more concentrated than human sewage poured into the Farlington Beck.’
      • ‘When she escaped, before I was covered in bird muck, I swear I saw a peregrine falcon fly down and cut her bonds.’
      • ‘It stinks of horse muck at the moment and the rubbish is going everywhere.’
      • ‘One of Britain's top trainers, Tim Easterby, who has 120 horses at Great Habton, Malton, uses the pure muck as a fertiliser on his own fields.’
      • ‘‘As I started to turn round a guy tipped a bucket of farmyard muck over me and then threw the rest of it over me and the car,’ he said.’
      • ‘Then there's the problem on country roads of farmers leaving muck from their dung or slurry spreaders.’
      • ‘Farmers could earn substantial guaranteed income by utilising spare farm buildings to feed pigs - and use the muck to reduce fertiliser costs and boost cereal yields.’
      • ‘A gentleman took his child on to the new play area and complained about the amount of dog muck.’
      • ‘A Kendal farmer was landed with a £300 fine this week after putting wildlife at risk by polluting a stream with watery cow muck.’
      • ‘They are left in all weathers for an unknown period in their own muck and urine.’
      • ‘Under amendments to the Waste Management and Licensing Regulations, livery yards, stables and riding schools who add anything to their muck to compost it for fertiliser will be eligible for the fee.’
      • ‘But with fewer livestock now being kept, the steaming muck and straw is worth £20 a ton and farmers want to keep what they have got for their own land.’
      • ‘On two occasions I have had a large amount of dog muck deposited on the pavement outside my house.’
      dung, manure, ordure, excrement, excreta, droppings, faeces, cowpats, guano, sewage
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal Something regarded as worthless, sordid, or corrupt.
      ‘the muck that passes for music in the pop charts’
      • ‘Besides, America is a country with widespread muck and mire, as you may have noticed from our presidential campaign.’
      • ‘He seems to have a genuine hatred for and problem with the muck so many kids get raised on, and recognises that this may be the only hot meal they get that day.’
      • ‘Unlike real junk food, this rhetorical muck comes with no warnings about its worthless contents.’
      • ‘The only problem was some bizarre muck - apparently pineapple and cucumber salsa - on the side of my plate, where it remained untroubled while the turbot disappeared at top speed.’
      • ‘‘A lot of breweries were producing muck,’ Hal said.’
      • ‘First we read the menu: there's nowt but foreign muck,’
      • ‘This news has almost forced me to once again swim into the muck of Democratic Underground, which I have not read in almost two weeks.’
      • ‘And his daughters certainly don't deserve this sort of muck, regardless of what you might think of his policies and what his policies have done to other people's families.’
      • ‘My mammalian mind remains mired in the earthly muck of doubt.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]British
  • 1muck something outRemove manure and other dirt from a horse's stable or other animal's dwelling.

    ‘I was mucking out some of the dirtiest piggeries I had ever seen’
    • ‘The how is waking up every morning, seven days a week, by 6 a.m. to feed the horses, muck out the stalls, brush, ride and bath the horses.’
    • ‘The large shelter, which can accommodate about 50 horses, has been carefully mucked out.’
    • ‘Could you feed, milk, take out to graze, and muck out my cow while I'm away?’
    • ‘He'd asked me to muck a few horses out and I decided to take a radio down to keep myself entertained.’
    • ‘I went back to her stall and started to muck it out.’
    • ‘The pair had just finished mucking out the elephant enclosure, which housed five females and two young males, and were giving the animals their daily wash with a power hose at about 8.20 am.’
    • ‘In return I had to help muck out and clean the tack.’
    • ‘The empty stalls were full of straw, but at least they had been mucked out.’
    • ‘For my next assignment, I was instructed to get my hands dirty by mucking out some of the kennels at Foal Farm.’
    • ‘In between looking after the horses, other duties included mucking out the stables.’
    • ‘The other four muck out - clean out the stables - and do the administration.’
    • ‘The stalls hadn't been mucked out for a long time.’
    • ‘When I go home to my parents in Pennsylvania, people are amazed to see me in the barn, all filthy, mucking stalls out in wellies.’
    • ‘Straw bedding is fine as long as it is mucked out daily, removing all wet material and keeping the bedding as clean as possible at all times.’
  • 2dialect Spread manure on (land)

    ‘half the farm is mucked every year’
    • ‘Help muck the fields and move hay.’
    • ‘With the horses we mucked the fields and then went out in the morning to feed everyone.’

Phrases

  • as common as muck

    • informal Of low social status.

      • ‘Sean Connery comes from the East of Scotland, with a 'posh' kinda tone, but we are from the West side and sound as common as muck.’
      • ‘She is posing as a lady but she is really as common as muck.’
      • ‘He's as common as muck, and God help him if he has to perform state duties - he can't stand foreigners.’
      • ‘You know, Ramirez, sometimes you seem as common as muck, and other times you're the most princely person I've met.’
      rabble, scum, refuse, garbage, rubbish, trash, vermin, the lowest of the low, in the underclass, the dregs of society, good-for-nothings, undesirables
      View synonyms
  • make a muck of

    • informal Handle incompetently.

      ‘it's useless now that they've made a muck of it’
      • ‘Of course, if her side win today, Nilsmark will be remembered as the great master tactician, but if Europe slips to defeat, she could be accused of making a muck of her choices.’
      • ‘If Finnie makes a muck of it - as I'm sure he will - I wonder if Jack would look in my direction.’
      • ‘I think the reason we need all this legislation is that previous legislation made a muck of it, so we have the amendment bill to make sure that the law does not continue as it is.’
      • ‘I found letting my son look after his own money extremely hard as I was sure he would make a muck of it.’
      • ‘‘No, she's just made a muck of things, that's all.’’
      make a mess of, mess up, botch, bungle, spoil, ruin, wreck, mishandle, mismanage
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • muck about/around

    • Behave in a silly or aimless way, especially by wasting time when serious activity is expected.

      ‘he spent his summers mucking about in boats’
      • ‘He was mucking around because, in an all-male boarding school, there weren't any other options.’
      • ‘I started mucking around and becoming slack with my work.’
      • ‘‘At first, nobody could believe this big boy when he first showed up,’ said McHarg, ‘and they couldn't believe the way he mucked around.’
      • ‘In a written statement, Ms Shepherd said: ‘There was a thud, and I thought he was mucking around.’’
      • ‘It's happened since the children have gone back to school, so it must be kids mucking around.’
      • ‘I thought they were mucking around, but now it makes sense.’
      • ‘He does all the serious stuff, which allows me to muck about.’
      • ‘I think he wasted at least a third of the allocated 90 minutes with his mucking around.’
      • ‘We were mucking around as we drove back to our neck of the woods - playing tag through traffic, messing with other drivers - the kind of stuff we used to do all the time when we were 17 or 18.’
      • ‘Mountain bikes are great for mucking around offroad.’
      • ‘We were in detention together on more than one occasion, me and Andy, for mucking around in class and smoking and stuff (I used to tell my mum I was staying late after school for football practice).’
      • ‘Set in 1942 in the Forest of Dean, it's about seven children mucking around on a summer's afternoon.’
      • ‘There's editing and there's just mucking around.’
      • ‘Which is ace, as it's relaxing watching the foxes skulk around in the evening - and last summer, the fox cubs mucking about.’
      • ‘He put on a blonde wig to imitate my hair, and started mucking around as if we were best mates.’
      • ‘I have so many very happy and fond memories of my aunt, who was also my Godmother, and the many hours I used to spend mucking around as a kid with my cousins at her house.’
      • ‘‘It ranges from youngsters mucking around a causing a bit of discomfort to local residents, to really serious misconduct and loutish behaviour right through to serious criminal behaviour,’ he said.’
      • ‘Everyone wrote about mucking around, getting into fights, playing football, except this one kid whose story was all about the hours he spent crying and missing his mum and dad.’
      • ‘They reminded me of those ‘mixtures’ created by bored children on rainy days, mucking around in the kitchen with anything liquidy or easily blended.’
      • ‘I didn't know what to expect, but they were laughing and mucking about.’
      • ‘Scientists, historians and the like need to muck around in libraries and laboratories to achieve their results, but concepts can be analysed in the armchair.’
      • ‘In 1975, he retired to the shores of Loch Fyne, where he indulged his love of renovating and mucking about in boats.’
      • ‘Plenty of people enjoy mucking about in boats, but just as many appreciate a power shower and a lie-down in a real bed afterwards.’
      • ‘So without anymore mucking around, let the interview begin…’
      • ‘He talks in class continually and encourages his friends to muck around.’
      fool about, fool around, play about, play around, fiddle about, fiddle around, amuse oneself, clown about, clown around, footle about, footle around
      View synonyms
  • muck about/around with

    • Tinker with (something), typically so as to damage or spoil it.

      ‘have you been mucking about with the aerial?’
      • ‘Very difficult to get ones hands on a version as it's been mucked about with quite a bit.’
      • ‘Most people treasure their right to vote and get very upset if anyone tries to muck about with it.’
      • ‘We've already got new songs that we are mucking around with, so we've almost got a new album ready to go.’
      • ‘Then David had a look, and after grumbling how people had been mucking about with it, he had it going as good as new.’
      • ‘Youths should realise they are putting their lives and those of other people at risk when they muck around with what are without doubt dangerous items.’
      • ‘They realise that India is too important for the sponsors to muck around with.’
      • ‘In this exhibition, it's an installation which you're invited to muck around with: go there, add your own content to the magazine, move it all around and turn material over.’
      • ‘As the outgoing controller of Radio Four could tell you, it's dangerous to muck around with BBC tradition.’
      • ‘It didn't turn out as well as I expected, but I'll be mucking about with it over the break.’
      • ‘Having a passport is a fundamental right of New Zealand citizenship and should not be mucked around with in that way.’
      • ‘I think there are certain benchmark institutions and arrangements in our society that you don't muck around with, and children should be brought up ideally by a mother and a father who are married.’
      • ‘They can't have foreigners coming over and mucking about with their democracy, it might end up with officials becoming responsible for their actions!’
      • ‘Didn't play golf this weekend, as I had a bit of a turn early Saturday morning due to mucking about with my medication dosages and had to cancel.’
      • ‘They all got their start by mucking about with existing machines and trying to make them better.’
      • ‘Yep, I've been mucking around with the site's appearance again.’
      • ‘I just want something cool to muck about with in my spare time.’
      • ‘I generate the material, kind of leave it to them to muck around with, and go off and write some more.’
      • ‘When we arranged this test Marcos asked me to make allowances because I'd be testing the development prototype which was being constantly mucked about with.’
      • ‘He gets to muck around with all the latest PC hardware and has a hand in making some of the fastest gaming rigs going.’
      • ‘In other cases, film-makers mucked around with the novels, mistakenly believing that one little tweak would make Greene more cinematic.’
      fool about, fool around, play about, play around, fiddle about, fiddle around, amuse oneself, clown about, clown around, footle about, footle around
      interfere, fiddle, fiddle about, fiddle around, play about, play around, tamper, meddle, tinker, monkey, monkey about, monkey around
      View synonyms
  • muck something up

    • Do something badly or ineptly; mishandle something.

      ‘she had mucked up her first few weeks at college’
      • ‘Being more than friends just totally mucks things up.’
      • ‘It made her realise that what's important in a recording is to show your creative side ‘because you do have a second chance if you muck something up.’’
      • ‘So unless I muck things up incredibly, I should be okay moneywise for the next few decades or so.’
      • ‘Much Ado About Nothing tells the tale of two relationships and the meddling do-gooders who muck them up.’
      • ‘I guess we have to wait for the mainstream media to muck things up this badly.’
      • ‘I'm born and bred in Coatbridge and I live here, so there's no hiding place for me if I muck it up.’
      • ‘‘I'll tell you what happened before Agent Miller mucks the whole story up,’ Loki said with a cold glance at Miller.’
      • ‘If anything, they've gotten a bit crafty with the songwriting, without mucking it up by trying to reinvent the wheel.’
      • ‘If I do I'd better not muck it up or I won't get another chance.’
      • ‘When I was a kid, of course, I drew in them, ripped pages and covers, and generally mucked them up, but by the time I was in university I kept all my books in perfect shape.’
      • ‘Well, the New Zealand corporates are trying at least, but they do seem to muck things up when it comes to helping out local acts.’
      • ‘You wouldn't want someone to come in just about when we're almost finished and muck it up.’
      • ‘That won't be the best of all possible outcomes but it's better than if the Liberals get another chance at mucking things up.’
      • ‘I get scared that I shall muck something up badly, so I tend not to volunteer for things.’
      • ‘It is one thing to have the US government mucking things up overseas.’
      • ‘But no, they insist on mucking it up by deciding for themselves.’
      • ‘One of the hardest things we ever have to learn is that you can't lead other people's lives for them, however intent they seem on mucking them up.’
      • ‘But when the blueprint demands mediocrity, why bother mucking it up with excellence?’
      • ‘Maybe it's the girls who have mucked things up in this case.’
      • ‘Knowing them, I have a feeling they'll manage to muck it up somehow.’
      make a mess of, mess up, botch, bungle, spoil, ruin, wreck, mishandle, mismanage
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English muk, probably of Scandinavian origin: compare with Old Norse myki ‘dung’, from a Germanic base meaning ‘soft’, shared by meek.

Pronunciation

muck

/mək//mək/