Definition of muck about/around in US English:

muck about/around

phrasal verb

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

    ‘he spent his summers mucking about in boats’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘I started mucking around and becoming slack with my work.’
    • ‘I thought they were mucking around, but now it makes sense.’
    • ‘It's happened since the children have gone back to school, so it must be kids mucking around.’
    • ‘I didn't know what to expect, but they were laughing and mucking about.’
    • ‘Set in 1942 in the Forest of Dean, it's about seven children mucking around on a summer's afternoon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There's editing and there's just mucking around.’
    • ‘Mountain bikes are great for mucking around offroad.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He does all the serious stuff, which allows me to muck about.’
    • ‘So without anymore mucking around, let the interview begin…’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘He talks in class continually and encourages his friends to muck around.’
    • ‘He put on a blonde wig to imitate my hair, and started mucking around as if we were best mates.’
    • ‘I think he wasted at least a third of the allocated 90 minutes with his mucking around.’
    • ‘He was mucking around because, in an all-male boarding school, there weren't any other options.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In a written statement, Ms Shepherd said: ‘There was a thud, and I thought he was mucking around.’’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘They reminded me of those ‘mixtures’ created by bored children on rainy days, mucking around in the kitchen with anything liquidy or easily blended.’
    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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