• synonyms


or mirk·y

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adjective, murk·i·er, murk·i·est.
  1. dark, gloomy, and cheerless.
  2. obscure or thick with mist, haze, etc., as the air.
  3. vague; unclear; confused: a murky statement.
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Origin of murky

First recorded in 1300–50, murky is from the Middle English word mirky. See murk, -y1
Related formsmurk·i·ly, adverbmurk·i·ness, noun


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1. See dark. 2. cloudy, dusky, lowering, misty, hazy.


1, 2. bright, clear.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for murkiness

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • All the murkiness, all the shame through which he had passed in Paris horrified him.


    Emile Zola

  • Will's devotion to me was the only ray of light in the murkiness of my spirit.

  • After our past week of glorious sunshine, this return to murkiness is far from pleasing.

  • Once more the tug took form, and the deck of the scow was revealed to the girl in all its murkiness.

  • They went outside to allow the murkiness to settle in the cabin, and Rick consulted his watch.

    The Wailing Octopus

    Harold Leland Goodwin

British Dictionary definitions for murkiness



adjective murkier, murkiest, mirkier or mirkiest
  1. gloomy or dark
  2. cloudy or impenetrable as with smoke or fog
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Derived Formsmurkily or mirkily, adverbmurkiness or mirkiness, noun
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 murkiness



mid-14c., from murk + -y (2). Rare before 17c. Related: Murkily; murkiness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper