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 ?
In future I am not to go on living peacefully in my little corner, poor though that corner be I am not to go on living, as the proverb has it, without muddying the water, or hurting any one, or forgetting the fear of the Lord God and of oneself?
Employment Minister Regina Doherty denied ministers were muddying the waters on the referendum on the Eighth Amendment.
Muddying the waters further, the channel, dubbed GII Media, has a logo that appears to be Daesh-affiliated, but the footage features a brigade called Jaysh al-Fath.
There is enough to contend with, and try to keep up with, in the purely-fictional parts of this convoluted conspiracy thriller without muddying the waters further in this unnecessary way.
AS a TD, Leo Varadkar is used to muddying the waters.
It is advisable for some to refrain from muddying the waters and fishing therein and for some others to desist from dancing behind a Pied Piper whose magic tone, as tempting as it is, might lead its followers astray," said Xinhua in a commentary, referring to the standoff over territorial confrontations in the South China Sea.
But with winter testing not having produced a clear frontrunner and tweaks to tyre regulations further muddying the waters, teams are expecting some unpredictable results in Australia.
SOCIAL vanity is muddying the waters of marketing campaigns, leaving ill-informed firms wasting investment in pointless social campaigns.
Saudi Arabia, big oil and gas firms, their paid stooges and mouth pieces and their Philadelphia lawyers have done a good - if expensively purchased - job of muddying the waters of the climate change debate.
A number of factors are muddying the waters, not the least of which is the extent to which many students have made tools and Web sites like these a part of their daily practice outside of school.
Bourne is muddying the waters slightly - or challenging our interpretive abilities - by double or triple casting all of the roles and having encounters between Anthony and Sheila, Anthony and Glenda, Speight and Glenda, etc.
If he does press ahead with a lawsuit, or write his own tit-for-tat story, he risks muddying the waters even further.
If all this seems a bit confusing, Microsoft is muddying the waters even more with last month's introduction of Windows NT, a 32-bit operating system, which sells for just under $500 for the desktop version and under $5,000 for the server.
Muddying the waters, though, is an even newer hybrid, the so-called city bike, derived from mountain-bike parentage but designed for urban commuting.
The stock's 10-month trendline is also in the area, muddying the waters considerably.