muddy the waters

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muddy the water(s)

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 really muddied the water for the prosecution's case against the defendant.
See also: muddy

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

muddy the waters, to

To confuse the issue. This analogy to stirring up the mud from the bottom of a clear pond, lake, or stream dates from the early nineteenth century. The OED quotes Blackwell’s Magazine (1837): “He . . . began to muddy the water.”
See also: muddy
References in periodicals archive ?
Not a tasty fish, carp muddies the water, making it unsuitable for the much-preferred smallmouth bass, a "great sport fish," she says.
A RECENT letter on this page ('Data muddies the water on performance', Letters, October 4) contained a number of significant inaccuracies in relation to the exam regulator Ofqual and last year's GCSE English results.
And takeover talk further muddies the waters, with Benitez quite cynical about the prospects of Ashley selling up at St James' Park.
This seventh edition changes little but looks exquisite, though the inclusion of loot crates muddies the waters. As GT Sport takes a narrower focus, Forza Motorsport 7's enthralling racing takes over as the most comprehensive competition available.
There are mixed feelings when Naomi is reunited with her long-lost father Gary as Sheila's obvious favouritism muddies the waters of her happiness.
That muddies the waters," says Gary Pavela, a professor at the University of Maryland and expert on higher education law.
Revelations that Margaret Thatcher authorised the building of an Iraqi chemical warfare factory in 1985 further muddies the waters.
Again, however, he muddies the waters by failing to lay this unfortunate race-blind dogmatism at the doorstep of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
O'Donnell muddies the waters because, if further extended or expanded upon by the courts, it could impose a duty on the defense lawyer to the insured, who is the defense's adversary in the lawsuit.
But while Gordon Brown's was crystal clear, Cardinal Winning's stance muddies the waters.
That the literary skills on display announce themselves as inadequate for "real" fiction only muddies the waters. So we want to think we understand the artist's life, are fully in possession of it (as voyeurs, as vicarious insiders and bohemians)?
Unfortunately, paragraph 2 muddies the waters by suggesting' that a controlling financial interest is usually conferred by owning a majority of voting stock without citing any other way that a controlling financial interest might be attained.
But the fact that a third party was involved muddies the waters. Your son may need a solicitor's help.
It just muddies the waters even more regarding what our politicians really stand for.