Definition of muddle through in US English:

muddle through

(British muddle along)

phrasal verb

  • Cope more or less satisfactorily despite lack of expertise, planning, or equipment.

    ‘we don't have an ultimate ambition; we just muddle through’
    • ‘However, I have enough faith in the inherent common sense of the human race to believe that we will, as ever, just manage to muddle through.’
    • ‘I noticed this morning that London Bridge station, after years of muddling through without a logo, has gained one.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, there's no hard and fast guidelines for us to follow - we just have to muddle through, minds fogged by desire.’
    • ‘Those of us who'd been happily muddling along for years and years were faced with a ‘for us or against us’ ultimatum from the more political of our younger brothers and sisters.’
    • ‘Under the present law there are several options, the least effective of which is to do nothing and hope those affected can muddle through.’
    • ‘All too often, gifted children have to muddle through.’
    • ‘Both have their own special charm, but whereas Paris is all about order, London is all about muddling through.’
    • ‘‘They are experts, but we just muddle along,’ said Mr Cross.’
    • ‘Restructuring will be disruptive for the top management of the industry, but it cannot afford to muddle along any longer.’
    • ‘Yet somehow I have managed to muddle through and have not done too badly out of life.’
    • ‘When I left my husband I knew it would be tough and I told myself we'd have to muddle through.’
    • ‘There was I, muddling blithely along, thinking that give and take would get me and my Other Half through those rare, but bracing episodes of discord Americans refer to as ‘learning experiences’.’
    • ‘All this makes for some short-term optimism, and even a feeling that we may somehow muddle through - but the longer-term odds are a different matter.’
    • ‘But generally - and I say this knowing full well that I am tempting every fate known to man - we have managed to muddle along quite well.’
    • ‘It was not a particularly happy union, though they muddled along in the end.’
    • ‘Y'know you're just muddling along in a better-than-average indie band and suddenly you're proclaimed the saviours of rock-and-roll.’
    • ‘We can be Asian Welsh, Afro-Caribbean Scottish, Pakistani English, and all somehow muddle through together.’
    • ‘My brain is frantically muddling through, trying to make sense of what's happening to me.’
    • ‘So there you are, muddling along with your new bog-standard toaster, when you get a surprise gift of a top-of-the-range model.’
    • ‘‘We just manage to muddle through but it's a bit of a strain over seven weeks,’ says Kenny Kingshott.’
    cope, manage, get along, get by, scrape along, scrape by, make do, make the best of a bad job
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