Nearby words

  1. mud-wrestling,
  2. mudanjiang,
  3. mudcap,
  4. mudcat,
  5. mudder,
  6. muddle along,
  7. muddle through,
  8. muddled,
  9. muddlehead,
  10. muddleheaded

Origin of muddle

1540–50; mud + -le; cognate with Middle Dutch moddelen to muddy

Related formsmud·dled·ness, mud·dle·ment, nounmud·dling·ly, adverbpre·mud·dle, noun, verb (used with object), pre·mud·dled, pre·mud·dling.un·mud·dled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for muddle through

muddle through


(intr, adverb) mainly British to succeed in some undertaking in spite of lack of organization


/ (ˈmʌdəl) /

verb (tr)

(often foll by up) to mix up (objects, items, etc); jumble
to confuse
to make (water) muddy or turbulent
US to mix or stir (alcoholic drinks, etc)


a state of physical or mental confusion
Derived Forms

Word Origin for muddle

C16: perhaps from Middle Dutch moddelen to make muddy

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 muddle through
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with muddle through

muddle through

Blunder through something, manage but awkwardly, as in The choir never knows how to line up, but we muddle through somehow. [Early 1900s]

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