Definition of muddy in US English:

muddy

adjective

  • 1Covered in or full of mud.

    ‘they changed their muddy boots’
    ‘it was very muddy underfoot’
    • ‘The well-behaved children sat on the floor, which when it rained, became muddy.’
    • ‘The ground was very muddy, but eventually they planted their crops and their animals began to reproduce.’
    • ‘I slid down the bank into a muddy puddle and entered the sheltered area.’
    • ‘Whilst on our walk up a very muddy road, I realised I had lost the postcard.’
    • ‘Then I ended up in the muddy drainage ditch, so I was in a word, filthy.’
    • ‘She kicked, propelling herself forward and down until her fingers brushed the muddy bottom.’
    • ‘It was a rainy day in London; the muddy streets were covered with sheets of icy water when Emma and her companions arrived.’
    • ‘And as snow melts it soaks into the bales or makes the ground muddy.’
    • ‘The floor hadn't been cleaned in years and muddy footprints clung to the lino.’
    • ‘Liberty knelt down in the mud, not caring if her jeans got all muddy.’
    • ‘Both battleships had been disabled, and settled on the muddy bottom of the harbour.’
    • ‘You can leave your muddy boots there and chuck your coat on the hook.’
    • ‘As well as the debris scattered around the worktops, muddy footprints covered the whole kitchen.’
    • ‘She looked at the men's muddy boots on her clean floor and shuddered.’
    • ‘I got all muddy and it didn't hurt any more.’
    • ‘And he walked off, dragging his feet in the muddy puddles of rain.’
    • ‘I can't rake up the leaves from the grass yet - it's far too muddy and wet for that.’
    • ‘I don't mind getting a bit muddy.’
    • ‘She joked about some muddy footprints left by her husband on the driveway.’
    • ‘If you hadn't followed me, you wouldn't be all muddy.’
    mud-caked, mud-spattered, muddied, dirty, filthy, mucky, grubby, grimy, soiled, begrimed
    murky, cloudy, muddied, turbid, opaque, impure
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    1. 1.1 (of a color) dull and dirty-looking.
      ‘the original colors were blurred into muddy pink and yellow’
      • ‘Yes, that seemed impossible for brown eyes - green can glow, blue can glow, but never dull muddy brown.’
      • ‘He reached and roughly grabbed the young boy's muddy blond hair, muddy as in dark not mud, and he pulled it tightly and yanked the boy close to him.’
      • ‘An athletic boy with dark hair and muddy gray eyes like fish scales stood growling at him.’
      • ‘Overall, the volume is attractively produced, with only a few typos and photographs that were muddy and dark.’
      • ‘If it had a physical color, it would probably be a muddy red mixed with dark, dull browns and purple.’
      • ‘Her eyes are a dark, muddy brown, and there are bags even bigger than the ones under my eyes under hers.’
      • ‘He felt his stomach heave and nearly fell to his knees, his eyes going dark, muddy gray.’
      • ‘Oranges and reds are slightly muddy, but yellows are clean and clear.’
      • ‘I think the blue wash that old ladies use looks bright white to them, whereas bright white looks like a dingy, muddy yellow.’
      • ‘The graphics are dull and muddy at the best of times.’
      • ‘I hate how that brown color in it makes my orange hair look muddy.’
      • ‘Instead of muddy red, his uniform was now dark green.’
      • ‘Too much Worcestershire or hot sauce will make the drink muddy and too spicy.’
      • ‘The muddy yellows and dark reds are unfortunate hallmarks of DLP projectors.’
      • ‘There are no obvious image defects, but often the image is muddy and dull.’
      • ‘In the Great Court as I stumbled out the strong blue sky, the bright white cladding seemed pallid, muddy and dull around me.’
      • ‘The Angel's beautiful crimson eyes dulled into a muddy, maroon color.’
      • ‘Fawn and slate, with an occasional tinge of a dark, muddy purple-brown give almost the only respite from black, white and grey.’
      • ‘She is wearing gold loafers that seem oddly bright on the muddy blue carpet.’
      • ‘She ran across the fields and down a path, which was a dark red muddy color now.’
      dingy, dirty, drab, dull, sludgy, washed out, flat
      murky, cloudy, muddied, turbid, opaque, impure
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a sound, especially in music) not clearly defined.
      ‘an awful muddy sound that renders his vocal incoherent’
      • ‘The Deftones were good but suffered a muddy sound mix.’
      • ‘The guitars frequently sound muddy (which may be the point, considering the album cover?).’
      • ‘The soundtrack seemed muddy at times but overall the sound was respectable.’
      • ‘He also opens up the music's textures, clarifying orchestration that can seem muddy in other conductors' hands.’
      • ‘The sound is stereo, and is a bit bass-heavy and muddy, but dialogue is easily heard.’
      • ‘In that case, tones got a bit muddy.’
      • ‘The Farsi sounded a bit muddy to me at times, but that may be a reflection of local dialects.’
      • ‘He often complained about muddy pedaling that obscured the musical line.’
      • ‘Sound quality is quite bad, with a mono track that has substantial hissing and popping, and a very muddy sound.’
      • ‘Too often the fugue sounds either muddy or disjointed in performance.’
      • ‘Dialogue is crystal clear; a surprise considering it often sounded muddy on previous home video releases.’
      • ‘The album's mixing is muddy, with the instrumentation indistinguishably blending together.’
      • ‘Tonight, even a muddy sound system and faulty backing tapes cannot detract from the brilliant pop nous beating at the band's core.’
      • ‘Everything about the sound transfer is weak, muddy and very indistinct.’
      • ‘The sharp move is that it's all simplified, so that more sounds can be layered without getting muddy.’
      • ‘To my ears, it simply sounds like grainy, muddy ambient music and experiments in granular synthesis.’
      • ‘The sound is muddy and tinny, and it's hard to make out some of the dialogue.’
      • ‘The sound quality is a little muddy, but a distinct bloom appears at high volume levels.’
      • ‘Some people may feel it sounds a bit muddy but my ear soon adjusts to that phenomenon and it doesn't depreciate my appreciation of this recording a whit.’
      • ‘The songs sound like they were recorded on a cassette tape; the sound is muddy, boxy, and dull, with little stereo separation.’
    3. 1.3 Confused, vague, or illogical.
      ‘some sentences are so muddy that their meaning can only be guessed’
      • ‘It's difficult to cut through the muddy and garbled ever-changing story to get a clear sense of what exactly is causing this discomfort.’
      • ‘After a week, my muddy mind had cleared and I was able to focus again.’
      • ‘The moral of this story is muddy - although it's clear that I should have purchased Pepsi stock before the Britney deal.’
      • ‘But as the mystery of the film deepens even this vision of marital concord becomes muddy.’
      • ‘Nobody write another paragraph on Vietnam or the National Guard or muddy politics or dirty laundry.’
      • ‘Beevor is a great writer; his style is clear and precise and the details are never muddy regardless of their level of complexity.’
      • ‘The details are very muddy, so it's not at all clear what's going on here and how involved the ISP actually is.’
      • ‘There were no grey areas, no muddy patches of confusion to catch you off guard.’
      • ‘In aligning ourselves with these universal laws, we can soon see how clear or muddy is our own subconscious.’
      • ‘Hence, the nature of the audience using the Internet quickly becomes muddy.’
      incoherent, confused, muddled, jumbled, woolly, vague, fuzzy
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Cause to become covered in or full of mud.

    ‘the linoleum floor was muddied’
    ‘cold, muddied feet’
    • ‘Pike are acutely sensitive to vibration, as would be caused by dogs wading in shallows and muddying the water.’
    • ‘You see, this isn't much different than when your child comes home, muddied, bloodied, and aching because some bully decided to beat your little angel.’
    • ‘We snake on north, eventually forking off the perfect track for a short section that might muddy your boots after rain.’
    • ‘His clothes were all muddied and torn and there were bruises and scratches all over his face and hands.’
    • ‘It's a good idea to mulch each plant with an inch or so of aquarium gravel to keep soil from muddying the water.’
    • ‘He was looking forlornly over the spilt broth, and egg and bacon sandwich that were lying, muddied up and trod on, on the ground.’
    • ‘His wife is next him, her blue skirt hem muddied, her arms full of their youngest child.’
    • ‘The car was found on the outskirts of Birmingham on December 7, bloodstained, muddied, and with grass and leaves on the bonnet and underneath.’
    • ‘Stepping out of his red helicopter on the outskirts of Kendal, Prince Charles, dressed in a camel overcoat, dark suit and muddied brogues, spent more than an hour touring the pioneering food park Plumgarths.’
    • ‘He touched his forelock as though in salute and watched as she tripped daintily out of the stables, lifting her skirts an inch or two so as not to muddy them.’
    • ‘A half-mile slithery and steep muddied our boots for the first time, and brought us back to Egton Bridge where we popped down to the river.’
    • ‘McLellan may have been wet, bedraggled and muddied but she could still raise a big smile at the prospect of making that first underground sighting of a wombat, cosy and safe, far down in its den.’
    • ‘Animal welfare experts and a trained sniper were muddied and exhausted before they eventually tranquilized the cattle.’
    • ‘Here they provide pull-on boot covers, so you don't muddy the floor or have to unlace; a very good idea.’
    • ‘It had been so ever since Caroline had arrived home, muddied and in disarray.’
    • ‘Her features softened, and she slowly straightened up, her shirt tattered, her jeans muddied.’
    • ‘Her dress was torn, her legs were scratched and bruised, muddied from crawling on the filthy alley floor.’
    • ‘From the color of their beige uniforms - muddied and torn - it was evident that they were British.’
    make muddy, cake with dirt, cake with mud, dirty, soil, begrime, grime, mire, spatter, bespatter
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    1. 1.1 Make (something) hard to perceive or understand.
      ‘the first year's results muddy rather than clarify the situation’
      • ‘The issue has been muddied by the fact that there were two troubling areas of reporting.’
      • ‘Incomplete or competing standards further muddied the picture.’
      • ‘When he talks, his words trickle out and things become less muddied.’
      • ‘Some of Ellis's analyses, though thorough, seem a little muddied and somewhat belabored.’
      • ‘Depending on your perspective, he either clarified or muddied the matter.’
      • ‘With five people all talking simultaneously, it can get a bit muddied, but there's a sense of fun about the whole thing that makes it absolutely worth a listen.’
      • ‘As he digs deeper, the story just gets more and more muddied, and everyone's natural inclination to blame the white officers or local Klansmen threatens to hide the real truth.’
      • ‘The result is that the question of who is the more environmental got very muddied.’
      • ‘But it also brought so many people at once into the movement that our goals got muddied.’
      • ‘Exaggerating his role in international terrorism muddies the true picture.’
      • ‘I mean, rather than muddy your message along the way, is it better to go with what you know and then make corrections at a later date?’
      • ‘Treating legal marriage and religious marriage as one thing just muddies up both.’
      • ‘Sometimes court battles muddy an issue more than clarifying it.’
      • ‘For one thing, it muddies what is at the moment the strongest selling point for web services: simplicity.’
      • ‘I've been moderately concerned about both - but two small stories muddy up my worries a bit.’
      • ‘The picture is further muddied by other factors.’
      • ‘However, I will pass along a few facts - they tend to get muddied in the media.’
      • ‘The issue is further muddied by the fact that ‘contractor’ has opposing meanings.’
      • ‘Oh, we've been very diplomatic but in the face of a deliberate and concerted political campaign the issues get muddied.’
      • ‘That, and the fact that recent social ‘history’ is so readily muddied and lost.’
      make unclear, obscure, confuse, obfuscate, blur, cloud, befog, mix up
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Phrases

  • muddy the waters

    • Make an issue or a situation more confusing by introducing complications.

      • ‘What really muddies the waters, though, is the introduction of the angel.’
      • ‘But I do think that this scheme is giving a different message, and it is muddying the waters and quite confusing for younger children.’
      • ‘This is a cheap political trick to try and muddy the waters just before an election.’
      • ‘Sensational and unproven claims on behalf of Baird which he never made himself only serve to muddy the waters and undermine the credibility of his other achievements.’
      • ‘If anything, it has served to only further muddy the waters.’
      • ‘The waters are muddied by a Christian inheritance which provides conflicting models and doctrine.’
      • ‘Moreover, positive and negative objectives may be stated explicitly or only implied, which further muddies the water in terms of evaluating results.’
      • ‘I'm bound to say that I can't see the difference, and suspect he wants to muddy the waters and befuddle the voters.’
      • ‘Indonesia's economic collapse only served to muddy the waters.’
      • ‘When, however, they begin competing with each other to offer large sums of money as inducements to potential witnesses, they are muddying the waters of justice rather than clarifying them.’
      • ‘Obviously, the Republicans read the same polls as Democrats, and will try to muddy the waters on key issues like education and Social Security.’
      • ‘And this, I believe is, the true brilliance of the design: a clever balance between mechanisms that reveal information and mechanisms that serve to muddy the waters.’
      • ‘After this abrupt and confusing start, waters are only muddied further by the constant intervention of some rather pointless and badly executed film footage.’
      • ‘But other recommendations muddy the waters, by confusing issues of individual freedom with the imposition of various forms of responsibility.’
      • ‘These comments were then picked up and distorted, to further discredit my work, and muddy the waters on the Genetic Modification issue.’
      • ‘It isn't the journalists muddying the waters, it's Labour's spin machine.’
      • ‘Because you begin thinking this person has, sort of, muddied the waters.’
      • ‘The last thing we need is to have a bunch of pajama-clad amateurs muddying up the waters with their irresponsible guessing-games.’
      • ‘It's a version of events which Maradona himself denies, but Alberti's quotes, if anything, further served to muddy the waters.’
      • ‘I understand that there's new legislation in South Africa which is going to perhaps, depending on which way you look at it, clarify the situation or muddy the waters.’
      make vague, make unclear, make less distinct
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Pronunciation

muddy

/ˈmədē//ˈmədi/