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muddy the waters

To introduce something, typically information, to an issue or situation that makes it less clear or more confusing. Don't muddy the waters with unrelated issues—we need to focus on this one problem. The last witness's testimony has muddied the waters, and most likely doubt has entered the minds of the jury members.
See also: muddy, water

muddy something up

1. to make water muddy; to stir up the mud in water, as at the bottom of a pond or river. Don't muddy the water up. It will clog our filters. Don't muddy up the water.
2. Fig. to make something unclear. You have really muddied this issue up. I thought I understood it. You sure muddied up this issue.
See also: muddy, up

muddy the water

Fig. to make something less clear; to make matters confusing; to create difficulty where there was none before. Things were going along quite smoothly until you came along and muddied the water. The events of the past month have muddied the water as far as our proposed joint venture is concerned.
See also: muddy, water

muddy the waters

Confuse the issue, as in Bringing up one irrelevant fact after another, he succeeded in muddying the waters. This metaphoric expression, alluding to making a pond or stream turbid by stirring up mud from the bottom, was first recorded in 1837.
See also: muddy, water

muddy the waters

If someone or something muddies the waters, they make a situation or an issue more confusing and complicated. The society has been accused of trying to muddy the waters through its poll which has been described as `misleading'. This ruling seems only to have muddied the waters and we are seeking clarification.
See also: muddy, water

muddy the waters

make an issue or a situation more confusing and harder to understand by introducing complications.
The figurative use of muddy to mean ‘make something hard to perceive or understand’ occurs in Shakespeare ; muddy the waters dates from the mid 19th century.
See also: muddy, water

muddy the ˈwaters

(disapproving) make something which seemed clear and easy to understand before seem much less clear now: Recent research findings have muddied the waters considerably — nuclear scientists are having to re-examine all their existing theories.They’re just muddying the waters with all this new information.
See also: muddy, water
References in periodicals archive ?
Muddy Waters Research is in the business of taking down Western-traded Chinese companies by publishing scathing criticisms of them.
Nowadays, it's really not necessary for him to even mention Muddy Waters, although when he does, the audiences still go wild.
The more the merrier, so feel free to bring along any muddy friends.
A neighbor drove after the fleeing Thunderbird, found it stopped on a muddy dirt road at Avenue J-8 and 37th Street East and called deputies on his cell phone.
But with the ground already damp and muddy, organisers are hoping it will not be a repeat of the scenes of 1998 which saw festival-goers covered from head to toe in mud after a weekend of downpours.
To find rip currents, guards hunt for a cloud of muddy water beyond the breaking waves.
Specifically, on November 21, 2011, investment analyst firm Muddy Waters, LLC ("Muddy Waters") issued an analyst report stating that Focus Media misrepresented its financial statements and future prospects.
The competition, sponsored by Muddy Waters Research, a U.
The Muddy Choir is the story of childhood friends Will, Robbie and Jumbo.
A Hotel's housekeeping team proved themselves muddy marvels after successfully tackling a 5km obstacle course for charity.
But the research manager at the city's Cancer Research UK oce will put her illness behind her by taking part in the charity's Pretty Muddy event - a gruelling 5km obstacle course.
The Utilities Division is completing a Wastewater Master Plan to review the capacity needs in all three drainage basins (South Fork, Elledge, and Muddy Creek) within our service area.
MUDDY BOOTS SOFTWARE 01989 780540 experts in quality assurance and compliance solutions for food and farming, is strengthening its management team with the addition of Mark Taylor to the role of non-executive chairman.
The region has been chosen to host the first ever Race for Life Pretty Muddy event, and it is hoped that hundereds of women will take part.
CLIENTS of a Wirral personal training company raised more than pounds 3,500 for charity after a gruelling wet and muddy Commando Challenge.