- moist farmyard dung, decaying vegetable matter, etc.; manure.
- a highly organic, dark or black soil, less than 50 percent combustible, often used as a manure.
- mire; mud.
- filth, dirt, or slime.
- defamatory or sullying remarks.
- a state of chaos or confusion: to make a muck of things.
- Chiefly British Informal. something of no value; trash.
- (especially in mining) earth, rock, or other useless matter to be removed in order to get out the mineral or other substances sought.
- to manure.
- to make dirty; soil.
- to remove muck from (sometimes followed by out).
- to ruin; bungle (often followed by up).
- to put into a state of complete confusion (often followed by up).
- muck about/around, Informal. to idle; waste time; loiter.
Origin of muck
- a bungled or disordered situation; foul-up.
Origin of muck-up
- (tr) British and Australian to ruin or spoil; make a mess of
- (intr) Australian to misbehave
- to spread manure upon (fields, gardens, etc)
- to soil or pollute
- (often foll by out) to clear muck from
Word Origin and History for muck up
mid-13c., "cow dung and vegetable matter spread as manure," from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse myki, mykr "cow dung," Danish møg, from Proto-Germanic *muk-, *meuk- "soft." Meaning "unclean matter generally" is from c.1300. Muck-sweat first attested 1690s.
late 14c., "to dig in the ground," also "to remove manure," early 15c., "to spread manure, cover with muck," from muck (n.). Meaning "to make dirty" is from 1832; in the figurative sense, "to make a mess of," it is from 1886; to muck about "mess around" is from 1856. Related: Mucked; mucking.
Idioms and Phrases with muck up
Bungle, damage, make a mess of, as in Don't let him write the review; he's sure to muck it up. This idiom alludes to the verb muck in the sense of “spread manure on.” [Early 1900s] For a synonym, see foul up.