Definition of muck in English:

muck

noun

  • 1Dirt, rubbish, or waste matter.

    ‘I'll just clean the muck off the windshield’
    • ‘We're under the river - you realize - covered by metal, cement, rock, dirt, silt, muck, and water.’
    • ‘It was full of green slime and muck instead of crystal clean water.’
    • ‘He pointed out that an ordinary person leaving muck on a road would have to clean up the road afterwards.’
    • ‘At Dillard, floodwaters receded to reveal muck, debris and tangled tree branches.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Surely there must be a better way than having people wade through muck and dirt to these sites,’ he said.’
    • ‘Then she screamed - the first scream of her adult life - as a slimy mixture of grease, muck and dirt poured out over her ankles.’
    • ‘A muck of built-up sewage and slime sits at the bottom of the deep, slow-moving, polluted water.’
    • ‘It was muck, sludge, and sewage every day of the campaign.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have lived like we did in the jungles, in dirt and filth and muck, unwashed and unkempt.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Apart from the litter have you also noticed the amount of muck and dirt on the roads this winter?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He says it's rather tacky, there are roadworks which haven't been fixed for days and the litter and muck just gets worse.’
    • ‘The smog monster Hedora is an interesting creation, being made entirely out of sludge and muck.’
    • ‘The muck and mire are long gone, and the golf course looks much the same as it did on opening day.’
    • ‘The floor was stone, but seemed to be hidden under a thin layer of muck, and debris from above.’
    • ‘I finished the gutters, sprayed some water up there to clean out the muck, and then surveyed the entire leaf-in-yard situation.’
    dirt, grime, filth, mud, slime, sludge, scum, mire, mess, rubbish
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    1. 1.1 Farmyard manure, widely used as fertilizer.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are left in all weathers for an unknown period in their own muck and urine.’
      • ‘When the Victorians planted them the only problem was sheep muck and cow muck.’
      • ‘Thousands of fish died when pig muck which was ten times more concentrated than human sewage poured into the Farlington Beck.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘He obviously missed the description of wading through cow muck to get to the feed-sheds in the dead of winter!’
      • ‘When she escaped, before I was covered in bird muck, I swear I saw a peregrine falcon fly down and cut her bonds.’
      • ‘We have some wonderful buildings in Trowbridge and they are just covered in bird muck.’
      • ‘Fly tipped garden rubbish is as much a stain on the countryside as dog muck and litter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On two occasions I have had a large amount of dog muck deposited on the pavement outside my house.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I assume the ‘very’ brown boots refers to farmyard muck?’
      • ‘Farmers poured milk onto muck heaps yesterday at the beginning of a three-day protest at low food prices.’
      • ‘A Darwen mother is refusing to let her daughter join a school ‘walking bus’ because she says the pavements are covered in dog muck.’
      • ‘A gentleman took his child on to the new play area and complained about the amount of dog muck.’
      • ‘Then there's the problem on country roads of farmers leaving muck from their dung or slurry spreaders.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It stinks of horse muck at the moment and the rubbish is going everywhere.’
      • ‘A Kendal farmer was landed with a £300 fine this week after putting wildlife at risk by polluting a stream with watery cow muck.’
      dung, manure, ordure, excrement, excreta, droppings, faeces, cowpats, guano, sewage
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    2. 1.2informal Something regarded as worthless, sordid, or corrupt.
      ‘the muck that passes for music in the pop charts’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Unlike real junk food, this rhetorical muck comes with no warnings about its worthless contents.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Besides, America is a country with widespread muck and mire, as you may have noticed from our presidential campaign.’
      • ‘First we read the menu: there's nowt but foreign muck,’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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]
  • 1muck upinformal Mishandle (a job or situation); spoil (something)

    ‘she had mucked up her first few weeks at college’
    • ‘Much Ado About Nothing tells the tale of two relationships and the meddling do-gooders who muck them up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘I'll tell you what happened before Agent Miller mucks the whole story up,’ Loki said with a cold glance at Miller.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘If anything, they've gotten a bit crafty with the songwriting, without mucking it up by trying to reinvent the wheel.’
    • ‘I guess we have to wait for the mainstream media to muck things up this badly.’
    • ‘So unless I muck things up incredibly, I should be okay moneywise for the next few decades or so.’
    • ‘But no, they insist on mucking it up by deciding for themselves.’
    • ‘I get scared that I shall muck something up badly, so I tend not to volunteer for things.’
    • ‘Maybe it's the girls who have mucked things up in this case.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If I do I'd better not muck it up or I won't get another chance.’
    • ‘It is one thing to have the US government mucking things up overseas.’
    • ‘Knowing them, I have a feeling they'll manage to muck it up somehow.’
    • ‘Being more than friends just totally mucks things up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm born and bred in Coatbridge and I live here, so there's no hiding place for me if I muck it up.’
    • ‘But when the blueprint demands mediocrity, why bother mucking it up with excellence?’
    make a mess of, mess up, botch, bungle, spoil, ruin, wreck, mishandle, mismanage
    make a hash of, muff, fluff, foul up, screw up, louse up, bitch up, blow, foozle
    make a muck of, make a pig's ear of, cock up, make a horlicks of
    flub, goof up
    fuck up, bugger up, balls up
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  • 2muck outBritish Remove (manure and other dirt) from a horse's stable or other animal's dwelling.

    • ‘The empty stalls were full of straw, but at least they had been mucked out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In return I had to help muck out and clean the tack.’
    • ‘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 between looking after the horses, other duties included mucking out the stables.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I went back to her stall and started to muck it out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He'd asked me to muck a few horses out and I decided to take a radio down to keep myself entertained.’
    • ‘For my next assignment, I was instructed to get my hands dirty by mucking out some of the kennels at Foal Farm.’
    • ‘Could you feed, milk, take out to graze, and muck out my cow while I'm away?’
    • ‘The stalls hadn't been mucked out for a long time.’
    • ‘The other four muck out - clean out the stables - and do the administration.’
  • 3rare Spread manure on (land)

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

Phrases

  • as common as muck

    • informal Of low social status.

      • ‘She is posing as a lady but she is really as common as muck.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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
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  • make a muck of

    • informal Handle incompetently.

      ‘it's useless now that they've made a muck of it’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If Finnie makes a muck of it - as I'm sure he will - I wonder if Jack would look in my direction.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘No, she's just made a muck of things, that's all.’’
      • ‘I found letting my son look after his own money extremely hard as I was sure he would make a muck of it.’
      make a mess of, mess up, botch, bungle, spoil, ruin, wreck, mishandle, mismanage
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Phrasal Verbs

  • muck about/around

    • 1Behave in a silly or aimless way, especially by wasting time when serious activity is expected.

      ‘he spent his summers mucking about in boats’
      • ‘I didn't know what to expect, but they were laughing and mucking about.’
      • ‘Which is ace, as it's relaxing watching the foxes skulk around in the evening - and last summer, the fox cubs mucking about.’
      • ‘In 1975, he retired to the shores of Loch Fyne, where he indulged his love of renovating and mucking about in boats.’
      • ‘He does all the serious stuff, which allows me to muck about.’
      • ‘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.’
      fool about, fool around, play about, play around, fiddle about, fiddle around, amuse oneself, clown about, clown around, footle about, footle around
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      1. 1.1Spoil (something) by interfering with it.
        ‘they did not want designers mucking about with their newspapers’
        • ‘It's much better to remove one's self from the lower orders who muck about in the political mud, splashing it willy-nilly on their betters.’
        • ‘This is the kind of thing I like to see the FBI doing, rather than mucking about with surveillance tools like Carnivore.’
        • ‘The planners also developed ‘a written understanding that politicians were not going to muck about in the process’ - an advantage already lost in New York.’
        • ‘The French, who can't stop mucking about in West Africa, should meddle someplace where they might do a little good.’
        • ‘You can't be original so you muck about in someone else's world.’
        • ‘A paralyzed government that doesn't muck about too much in everybody's life.’
        • ‘Don't I have to give some sort of permission so that you can muck about in my head?’
        • ‘Each has a pretty carefully delineated sphere of interest, and won't take kindly to the other guy mucking about in it.’
        interfere, fiddle, fiddle about, fiddle around, play about, play around, tamper, meddle, tinker, monkey, monkey about, monkey 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

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/