See more synonyms for mud on
  1. wet, soft earth or earthy matter, as on the ground after rain, at the bottom of a pond, or along the banks of a river; mire.
  2. Informal. scandalous or malicious assertions or information: The opposition threw a lot of mud at our candidate.
  3. Slang. brewed coffee, especially when strong or bitter.
  4. a mixture of chemicals and other substances pumped into a drilling rig chiefly as a lubricant for the bit and shaft.
verb (used with object), mud·ded, mud·ding.
  1. to cover, smear, or spatter with mud: to mud the walls of a hut.
  2. to stir up the mud or sediment in: waders mudding the clear water.
verb (used without object), mud·ded, mud·ding.
  1. to hide in or burrow into mud.

Origin of mud

1300–50; Middle English mudde, mode < Middle Low German mudde. Cf. mother2
Related formsun·mud·ded, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mud

muck, sludge, slush, silt, clay, mire, slab, ooze

Examples from the Web for mud

Contemporary Examples of mud

Historical Examples of mud

  • Do you expect me to pick up everything you've thrown in the mud and feel grateful?


    William J. Locke

  • Then she added, in a lower tone, "'Kuse me fo' throwin' mud on yo' coat."

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • At length we reached the firm ground, covered with mud and chilled with cold.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I was up to my middle in mud, at times, but the water was not very deep.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • We were confined in a sort of a prison, that was covered with mud.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for mud


  1. a fine-grained soft wet deposit that occurs on the ground after rain, at the bottom of ponds, lakes, etc
  2. informal slander or defamation
  3. clear as mud informal not at all clear
  4. drag someone's name in the mud to disgrace or defame someone
  5. here's mud in your eye informal a humorous drinking toast
  6. someone's name is mud informal someone is disgraced
  7. throw mud at or sling mud at informal to slander; vilify
verb muds, mudding or mudded
  1. (tr) to soil or cover with mud

Word Origin for mud

C14: probably from Middle Low German mudde; compare Middle High German mot swamp, mud, Swedish modd slush
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mud

mid-14c., cognate with and probably from Middle Low German mudde, Middle Dutch modde "thick mud," from Proto-Germanic *mud- from PIE *(s)meu-/*mu- [Buck], found in many words denoting "wet" or "dirty" (cf. Greek mydos "damp, moisture," Old Irish muad "cloud," Polish muł "slime," Sanskrit mutra- "urine," Avestan muthra- "excrement, filth"); related to German Schmutz "dirt," which also is used for "mud" in roads, etc., to avoid dreck, which originally meant "excrement." Welsh mwd is from English. Replaced native fen.

Meaning "lowest or worst of anything" is from 1580s. As a word for "coffee," it is hobo slang from 1925; as a word for "opium" from 1922. To throw or hurl mud "make disgraceful accusations" is from 1762. To say (one's) name is mud and mean "(one) is discredited" is first recorded 1823, from mud in obsolete sense of "a stupid twaddling fellow" (1708). Mud in your eye as a toast recorded from 1912, American English. Mud puppy "salamander" is from 1889, American English; mud bath is from 1798; mud pie is from 1788.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with mud


see clear as mud; name is mud; sling mud at.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.