muddy the waters

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 ?
But let's not muddy the waters with all that, you just want to focus on what President Donald Trump said.
Barry Greener Green Lane Remain voters muddy the waters IN reply to Mr Lanagan's letter (Nov 21), he seems to want to make the referendum on Brexit null and void due to so-called lies told to us leading up to it.
It seems to be a silly but transparent attempt on DISH's behalf to muddy the waters for reasons only they can explain."
He accused Chappell ofintroduce "irrelevant and erroneous" material to try and "muddy the waters".
Those who try to trivialise the issue and muddy the waters with their inane talk of colour and free trade remind me of those cowboy and indian films many moons ago and the retort: "White man speak with forked tongue!" How outrageous when a person of the calibre of Mr Blair declares: "The national humiliation is we think the colour of our passports defines our sense of nationhood." Does this "weapons of mass destruction" silly man not recognise the intellectual vacuity of his insulting words?
Those who try and trivialise the issue and muddy the waters with their inane talk of colour and free trade remind me of those 'Cowboy and Indian' films many moons ago and the retort: "White man speak with forked tongue!" How outrageous when a person of the calibre of Mr Blair declares "The national humiliation is we think the colour of our passports defines our sense of nationhood."
Steve Walsh's arrival at Goodison Park, along with a PS1million salary, only served to muddy the waters of recruitment, rather than clear them.
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."
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.
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.
Council leader Steve Foulkes last night accused Cllr Kelly of trying to "muddy the waters" and insisted his efforts to repair problems outlined in the Klonowski report stemmed from her recommendations.
To muddy the waters further he is being called a terrorist.
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 which read out blood sugar values that don't represent "mean" blood glucose levels.