definitions
  • synonyms

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.

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RELATED WORDS

blind, dim, darken, confuse, disguise, mask, muddy, overshadow, cover, camouflage, shroud, belie, blur, eclipse, misrepresent, veil, cloud, mystify, confound, complicate

Nearby words

muddled, muddlehead, muddleheaded, muddler, muddy, muddy the waters, mudeye, mudfat, mudfish, mudflap, mudflow
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.