Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

murky waters

A situation or circumstance that is foreign, unclear, or unfamiliar and which may be dangerous or difficult as a result. We're starting to get into murky waters exploiting these tax loopholes. If we aren't careful, the government may crack down on us hard! John keeps himself so closed off that I've never understood the murky waters of his emotions.
See also: murky, water

(be in/get into) murky/uncharted ˈwaters

(be in/get into) a difficult or dangerous situation that you do not know anything about: As I opened up the computer to try and fix the problem, I realized that I was getting into completely uncharted waters and decided to leave it to the experts.
Murky water is dark or dirty. If somebody is in uncharted waters, they are in an area of sea or ocean that is not known or recorded on a map.
See also: murky, uncharted, water
References in classic literature ?
The murky twilight had settled in deep shadow on her face.
McMurdo took out an envelope and held it close to the murky oil lamp.
They descended the narrow steps which led into the crypt, and paused among the gloomy arches, in a dim and murky spot.
A physician obviously wouldn't want to use the test on preterm women clearly in labor, Iams says, but developers think the test will shine in the murky world of semilabor, where "there's a lot of overtreatment.
Levity Against Gravity, 1992, in which flashes of brilliant blue break upwards from handsomely murky browns and blacks, consists of an old painting that Berg judged unsatisfactory, cut into strips, and rearranged.
One of the nation's top experts at appraising the value of railroad rights-of-way added that the issue is murky - and will take scores of lawyers - to settle.
They keep their eyes on the least Bell's vireo, a migratory bird listed as federally endangered in 1986, and the slender arroyo chubs that slide easily under murky freshwater.
Researchers often use sound waves to probe the murky depths of the ocean.
Their old-masterish effects come from their dark, murky, resiny backgrounds--at once deep, still, and swirling, the figures clad in flowing, low-cut jewel-toned dresses amidst rich, glowing colors--to which the tar emulsion overcoat gives an aged look.
Instead, Dillon delivers the murky muddle ``City of Ghosts,'' his directorial debut, which is long on atmosphere (not to mention running time) and short on just about everything else.
Archaeological evidence of how settlements sprinkled along the Nile Valley coalesced into one of the world's first civilizations remains murky.
The deep water, however, hampered a team of specialized divers who recovered the final body from the murky lake bed one week after the accident.
However, the road to anti-oxidant therapy remains murky.
If the subsidies are struck down, what happens next in Texas remains murky.
The eel lives in shallow murky water and is hard to see in the sand and dirt at the bottom.