Try Our Apps


Word of the Day
Thursday, February 09, 2017

Definitions for muckrake

  1. to search for and expose real or alleged corruption, scandal, or the like, especially in politics.

Learn something
new every day


Thank youfor signing up
Get the Word of the Day Email
Citations for muckrake
There will continue to be room, of course, for some kinds of traditional, thoroughly sourced reporting: exclusives, certainly. Investigations, certainly. that's something extra. Yahoo isn't in a position to muckrake. Mitchell Stephens, "Beyond the News," Columbia Journalism Review, January/February 2007
Some magazines live to muckrake, some to deliver readers to advertisers. , "From the Spy Mailroom," Spy, August 1990
Origin of muckrake
John Bunyan in his The Pilgrim’s Progress (1684) uses a muck-rake as a symbol for a carnal mind, and later interpreted as the pursuit of worldly gain. Muckrake continued to have a pejorative sense throughout the 19th century in addition to its original sense “a rake for piling up dung or muck.” By the mid-19th century muckrake acquired the sense of “journalism that exposes corporate monopolies, political machines, and urban poverty,” best exemplified by Jacob Riis. President Theodore Roosevelt used muckraker in this last sense in a 1906 speech: ”The men with the muck rakes are often indispensable to the well being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward to the celestial crown above them, to the crown of worthy endeavor.”