Definition of muddy in US English:

muddy

adjective

  • 1Covered in or full of mud.

    ‘they changed their muddy boots’
    ‘it was very muddy underfoot’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And he walked off, dragging his feet in the muddy puddles of rain.’
    • ‘She joked about some muddy footprints left by her husband on the driveway.’
    • ‘I slid down the bank into a muddy puddle and entered the sheltered area.’
    • ‘I don't mind getting a bit muddy.’
    • ‘She kicked, propelling herself forward and down until her fingers brushed the muddy bottom.’
    • ‘The ground was very muddy, but eventually they planted their crops and their animals began to reproduce.’
    • ‘I can't rake up the leaves from the grass yet - it's far too muddy and wet for that.’
    • ‘It was a rainy day in London; the muddy streets were covered with sheets of icy water when Emma and her companions arrived.’
    • ‘If you hadn't followed me, you wouldn't be all muddy.’
    • ‘She looked at the men's muddy boots on her clean floor and shuddered.’
    • ‘Both battleships had been disabled, and settled on the muddy bottom of the harbour.’
    • ‘I got all muddy and it didn't hurt any more.’
    • ‘You can leave your muddy boots there and chuck your coat on the hook.’
    • ‘The well-behaved children sat on the floor, which when it rained, became muddy.’
    • ‘Then I ended up in the muddy drainage ditch, so I was in a word, filthy.’
    • ‘Liberty knelt down in the mud, not caring if her jeans got all muddy.’
    • ‘Whilst on our walk up a very muddy road, I realised I had lost the postcard.’
    • ‘As well as the debris scattered around the worktops, muddy footprints covered the whole kitchen.’
    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’
      • ‘I hate how that brown color in it makes my orange hair look muddy.’
      • ‘Instead of muddy red, his uniform was now dark green.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Too much Worcestershire or hot sauce will make the drink muddy and too spicy.’
      • ‘If it had a physical color, it would probably be a muddy red mixed with dark, dull browns and purple.’
      • ‘There are no obvious image defects, but often the image is muddy and dull.’
      • ‘Her eyes are a dark, muddy brown, and there are bags even bigger than the ones under my eyes under hers.’
      • ‘In the Great Court as I stumbled out the strong blue sky, the bright white cladding seemed pallid, muddy and dull around me.’
      • ‘The muddy yellows and dark reds are unfortunate hallmarks of DLP projectors.’
      • ‘I think the blue wash that old ladies use looks bright white to them, whereas bright white looks like a dingy, muddy yellow.’
      • ‘The Angel's beautiful crimson eyes dulled into a muddy, maroon color.’
      • ‘Oranges and reds are slightly muddy, but yellows are clean and clear.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He felt his stomach heave and nearly fell to his knees, his eyes going dark, muddy gray.’
      • ‘Overall, the volume is attractively produced, with only a few typos and photographs that were muddy and dark.’
      • ‘The graphics are dull and muddy at the best of times.’
      • ‘An athletic boy with dark hair and muddy gray eyes like fish scales stood growling at him.’
      • ‘Yes, that seemed impossible for brown eyes - green can glow, blue can glow, but never dull muddy brown.’
      dingy, dirty, drab, dull, sludgy, washed out, flat
      murky, cloudy, muddied, turbid, opaque, impure
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    2. 1.2 (of a sound, especially in music) not clearly defined.
      ‘an awful muddy sound that renders his vocal incoherent’
      • ‘Dialogue is crystal clear; a surprise considering it often sounded muddy on previous home video releases.’
      • ‘In that case, tones got a bit muddy.’
      • ‘The soundtrack seemed muddy at times but overall the sound was respectable.’
      • ‘The Farsi sounded a bit muddy to me at times, but that may be a reflection of local dialects.’
      • ‘To my ears, it simply sounds like grainy, muddy ambient music and experiments in granular synthesis.’
      • ‘The songs sound like they were recorded on a cassette tape; the sound is muddy, boxy, and dull, with little stereo separation.’
      • ‘Tonight, even a muddy sound system and faulty backing tapes cannot detract from the brilliant pop nous beating at the band's core.’
      • ‘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 guitars frequently sound muddy (which may be the point, considering the album cover?).’
      • ‘The album's mixing is muddy, with the instrumentation indistinguishably blending together.’
      • ‘The sound quality is a little muddy, but a distinct bloom appears at high volume levels.’
      • ‘Too often the fugue sounds either muddy or disjointed in performance.’
      • ‘He often complained about muddy pedaling that obscured the musical line.’
      • ‘The sound is stereo, and is a bit bass-heavy and muddy, but dialogue is easily heard.’
      • ‘The sharp move is that it's all simplified, so that more sounds can be layered without getting muddy.’
      • ‘The Deftones were good but suffered a muddy sound mix.’
      • ‘Everything about the sound transfer is weak, muddy and very indistinct.’
      • ‘The sound is muddy and tinny, and it's hard to make out some of the dialogue.’
      • ‘Sound quality is quite bad, with a mono track that has substantial hissing and popping, and a very muddy sound.’
      • ‘He also opens up the music's textures, clarifying orchestration that can seem muddy in other conductors' hands.’
    3. 1.3 Confused, vague, or illogical.
      ‘some sentences are so muddy that their meaning can only be guessed’
      • ‘But as the mystery of the film deepens even this vision of marital concord becomes muddy.’
      • ‘The details are very muddy, so it's not at all clear what's going on here and how involved the ISP actually is.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nobody write another paragraph on Vietnam or the National Guard or muddy politics or dirty laundry.’
      • ‘After a week, my muddy mind had cleared and I was able to focus again.’
      • ‘Beevor is a great writer; his style is clear and precise and the details are never muddy regardless of their level of complexity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The moral of this story is muddy - although it's clear that I should have purchased Pepsi stock before the Britney deal.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘Here they provide pull-on boot covers, so you don't muddy the floor or have to unlace; a very good idea.’
    • ‘Animal welfare experts and a trained sniper were muddied and exhausted before they eventually tranquilized the cattle.’
    • ‘His clothes were all muddied and torn and there were bruises and scratches all over his face and hands.’
    • ‘Pike are acutely sensitive to vibration, as would be caused by dogs wading in shallows and muddying the water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From the color of their beige uniforms - muddied and torn - it was evident that they were British.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The car was found on the outskirts of Birmingham on December 7, bloodstained, muddied, and with grass and leaves on the bonnet and underneath.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's a good idea to mulch each plant with an inch or so of aquarium gravel to keep soil from muddying the water.’
    • ‘We snake on north, eventually forking off the perfect track for a short section that might muddy your boots after rain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His wife is next him, her blue skirt hem muddied, her arms full of their youngest child.’
    • ‘He was looking forlornly over the spilt broth, and egg and bacon sandwich that were lying, muddied up and trod on, on the ground.’
    • ‘Her dress was torn, her legs were scratched and bruised, muddied from crawling on the filthy alley floor.’
    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 picture is further muddied by other factors.’
      • ‘The issue has been muddied by the fact that there were two troubling areas of reporting.’
      • ‘Oh, we've been very diplomatic but in the face of a deliberate and concerted political campaign the issues get muddied.’
      • ‘The result is that the question of who is the more environmental got very muddied.’
      • ‘Exaggerating his role in international terrorism muddies the true picture.’
      • ‘That, and the fact that recent social ‘history’ is so readily muddied and lost.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've been moderately concerned about both - but two small stories muddy up my worries a bit.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘The issue is further muddied by the fact that ‘contractor’ has opposing meanings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But it also brought so many people at once into the movement that our goals got muddied.’
      • ‘Depending on your perspective, he either clarified or muddied the matter.’
      • ‘However, I will pass along a few facts - they tend to get muddied in the media.’
      • ‘Treating legal marriage and religious marriage as one thing just muddies up both.’
      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.

      • ‘I'm bound to say that I can't see the difference, and suspect he wants to muddy the waters and befuddle the voters.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If anything, it has served to only further muddy the waters.’
      • ‘Indonesia's economic collapse only served to muddy the waters.’
      • ‘This is a cheap political trick to try and muddy the waters just before an election.’
      • ‘It's a version of events which Maradona himself denies, but Alberti's quotes, if anything, further served 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.’
      • ‘Because you begin thinking this person has, sort of, muddied the waters.’
      • ‘But other recommendations muddy the waters, by confusing issues of individual freedom with the imposition of various forms of responsibility.’
      • ‘The waters are muddied by a Christian inheritance which provides conflicting models and doctrine.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It isn't the journalists muddying the waters, it's Labour's spin machine.’
      • ‘What really muddies the waters, though, is the introduction of the angel.’
      • ‘Moreover, positive and negative objectives may be stated explicitly or only implied, which further muddies the water in terms of evaluating results.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But I do think that this scheme is giving a different message, and it is muddying the waters and quite confusing for younger children.’
      • ‘These comments were then picked up and distorted, to further discredit my work, and muddy the waters on the Genetic Modification issue.’
      • ‘The last thing we need is to have a bunch of pajama-clad amateurs muddying up the waters with their irresponsible guessing-games.’
      make vague, make unclear, make less distinct
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Pronunciation

muddy

/ˈmədi//ˈmədē/