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Related to muddily: muddied, muddy up

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 ?
Ashley heard a low roar above his head and the distorted strains of Jimi Hendrix spilled muddily through the ceiling.
In light of the polar opposites of Brown and Turner, supplemented only by a muddily unhelpful three-Justice concurrence in Lee, perhaps the Johnson Court's treatment of the CDC's policy can be seen as a properly suspect middle ground.
The Graduate,'' ``Carnal Knowledge'') before more-recent movies (``Regarding Henry,'' ``Wolf,'' ``Heartburn,'' ``Primary Colors'') became muddily self-satisfied and/or self-important.
My summary necessarily tramples muddily across Freedman's elegant text.
The most eagerly awaited race staged on a rain-lashed fixture watched by a crowd of almost 20,000 was won muddily but serenely, with Susannah Ricci's six-year-old cruising past Zarkandar's front-running stablemate Empire Levant at the penultimate flight before sauntering clear of Paul Nicholls' principal hope.
Set changes are muddily utilitarian, projections thrown up on surfaces to no effect.
Love Cruise,'' which pairs eight single men and eight equally unmarried women on a boat adrift - both physically and spiritually - in the Caribbean for some frolicsome if muddily defined activities, isn't quite shameless enough to be ``Temptation Island,'' or interesting enough to be ``Survivor,'' or pathetic enough to be ``Big Brother.
The problem seemed to be that somebody well-meaning but utterly ignorant of the ways of animals would see Breton Banquet lying muddily in his field - no doubt thinking fondly of his former trainer Bill Marshall or worrying that he'd eaten too much grass - conclude that he was suffering and rush to phone the RSPCA.