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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 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 up

1. To cover, fill, or contaminate something with mud. A noun or pronoun can be used between "muddy" and "up." I just got the Jeep washed, and you went and muddied it up offroading in the mountains! Take your boots off so you don't muddy up my carpets! They all went into the wading pool and muddied up the water.
2. To dredge up the mud at the bottom of a lake, pond, river, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "muddy" and "up." The lake is so perfectly tranquil and still—don't ruin that by traipsing in and muddying it up! We could have found your ring in this pond if you hand't muddied the water up before we started looking!
3. To render something awkward, confusing, and disorderly; to obscure or obfuscate something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "muddy" and "up"; often used in passive constructions. The introduction of new tariffs is likely to further muddy up the already complicated relationship between the two countries. They muddied the contract up with all sorts of misleading, cryptic language. Our roles within the team have become so muddied up that we've largely given up the idea of job titles.
See also: muddy, up

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 ?
It means the dog can still enjoy muddy walks but without the hassle of the post-walk clean-up.
Outreach and working with the community also appeal to Kennedy Joseph, vice-president of the Big Muddy.
In its statement yesterday Muddy Waters said its research was independent of ShadowFall's and identified separate accounting issues which had not been addressed in the ShadowFall report.
By jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig and raising money for Save the Children, you can help give children a brighter future.
Cancer Research UK's Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and marathon events which raise millions of pounds to fund research.
Durham's Pretty Muddy 5k takes place on Saturday, June 24 at Riverside Park, Riverside South, Chester Le Street, DH3 3SJ.
Away the pair go to the park, where the puppy jumps in the mud and makes muddy footprints all over the place.
Rick Rinehart, executive editor of Globe Pequot, will serve as editorial director of Muddy Boots, which will release 17 books over the course of its inaugural year and 25 to 30 in 2017, building to 40 titles a year by 2020.
Lynn added: "The competition for the children to find muddy puddles kept everyone entertained and the children couldn't wait to win their prizes.
The Little Muddy pipeline will connect SMLP's Polar & Divide crude oil gathering system with North Dakota Pipeline System in Williams County via Enbridge's Little Muddy facility located near Marmon.
They were forced to get down and dirty yesterday when they took part in the 5k and 10k Muddy Trials.
THOUSANDS of women cleaned up for charity when they turned out for the Pretty Muddy 5k race at Cofton Park in Longbridge.
Starting the Pretty Muddy event off was six-year-old Thomas Griffiths, from Tipton, who is currently being treated for leukaemia.
A BREAST cancer survivor who banished her bra to grin and 'bare it' for charity was among Race for Life Pretty Muddy runners on Newcastle's Town Moor.
Software company Muddy Boots gives its customers total visibility on the quality of their products and compliance of their supply chains, from grower to retailer.