muddy the waters

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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 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 classic literature ?
Seeing Alexey Alexandrovitch with his Petersburg face and severely self-confident figure, in his round hat, with his rather prominent spine, he believed in him, and was aware of a disagreeable sensation, such as a man might feel tortured by thirst, who, on reaching a spring, should find a dog, a sheep, or a pig, who has drunk of it and muddied the water.
But the gutted boss still muddied the waters last night by claiming: "I'll have a real think about it.
AL-MUSTAQBAL: Berri bets on "nuclear deal": No progress regarding presidential deadlock THE DAILYSTAR: Presidential impasse no clearer after Iran agreement The Iranian nuclear deal has further muddied the waters of Lebanon's presidential crisis, as Parliament Wednesday failed to elect a head of state for the 26th time due to a lack of quorum.
Senegal star Cisse muddied the waters further by claiming he could be moving down to the Liberty Stadium.
He has further muddied the waters with his demands for currency union with the UK.
Sunderland muddied the waters with their 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge a week-and-a-half ago.
The postponement of the original Wolves fixture and Blackpool last week muddied the waters further and in the end the FA called in their own legal people to be certain he can play tomorrow.
Now the 24-year-old has further muddied the waters by revealing Barca's interest.
NEWPORT muddied the waters at Sardis Road to keep themselves afloat at the top of the Premier Division.
But after talks with FA chiefs muddied the waters, he spent yesterday in discussions with his closest advisers before watching Charlton take on Aston Villa.
The gelding had looked a star in the making when winning his first three British starts, but Pipe muddied the waters by entering him in five races at the Festival - from the Arkle to the SunAlliance.
Plus, all of the corporate scandals coming to light recently have only muddied the waters for investors.
There is a general perception that the council has not handled the situation particularly well and Morrisons' plans to take over Safeway have perhaps further muddied the waters.
Rivalries among senior officers with strong personalities often muddied the waters in the past.
A too literal attachment to the incidentals of Jesus' historical life has, in the opinion of some Catholics, muddied the waters surrounding who--men or women--might bear the image of Christ in ordination.