muddy the waters

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 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 ?
However, the 79-year-old appeared to muddy the waters this week when, in what was seen by some as a mischief-making attempt to unsettle his critics, he said: "I have not resigned, I put my mandate in the hands of an extraordinary congress.
JACK HOBBS was yesterday trimmed to 4-1 favourite (from 5-1) for the Investec Derby next month after a weekend of Epsom trials served only to muddy the waters further for Classic punters.
THE Arc trials served only to muddy the waters for what is looking an open renewal of Europe's richest race, writes Sam Walker.
The contradictory statements will serve to further muddy the waters of the investigation.
But will her information help Wallander find the kidnappers or just muddy the waters even further?
To muddy the waters further Felix Sturm - who Murray challenges - was not the holder of another middleweight crown but following seven defences of his 'standard' WBA world title, the governing body promoted him to Super champion.
I do not believe it is helpful at a time when the council is facing such a serious challenge to attempt to muddy the waters by confusing two entirely separate issues.
All religion does is muddy the waters of politics, as it has since Emperor Constantine of Rome.
The use of "mean" blood glucose levels will muddy the waters for patients and physicians, because many patients use glucometers that read out blood sugar values that don't represent "mean" blood glucose levels.
While most companies are still getting the hang of online media, along comes something called social media to muddy the waters.
Rather, their best hope is to keep trying to get their people onto school boards and then use their representatives to muddy the waters with humbug masquerading as "critical analysis.
Education spokesman Lord James Douglas-Hamilton said: "The Executive are trying to muddy the waters as much as they can.
These fundamental concepts muddy the waters for site administrators trying to get a clear picture about campus safety.
Some Armenian-Americans feared the discussion would just muddy the waters, especially since the U.
These new eco-label and verification schemes tend to really just muddy the waters with questions," said Jake Lewin, marketing director at California Certified Organic Farmers, an organic certification and trade group.