Idiom:  muddy the waters

Woman floating in a muddy stream of water: Inviting his ex-wife to our family holidays was one thing but insisting she also come on vacation with us and the kids has really muddied the waters.


Idiom:  muddy the waters

  • make an issue or situation more confusing or difficult to understand

Example sentences

— I hope everyone stays focused on the items on the agenda and don't muddy the waters with other topics.

— My mother-in-law is trying to destroy my marriage. Whenever I'm having an argument with my wife, she jumps in the conversation to muddy the waters.

— Wait a while.  If you release another statement now you’ll only muddy the waters.

— Unfortunately, the results of this new survey really muddy the waters.

— Not to muddy the waters but have you considered what would happened if other's found out you raised Sharon's salary?

— Here's another controversial tweet from the President, which only served to muddy the waters.

— Think carefully before you allow extensions for students who turn in late papers. That can really muddy the waters if you don't explicitly outline what an acceptable reason is for late work.

— To be honest, this statement here really muddies the water. Please consult with our legal department before we send it to the client.


  • stir up trouble
  • cloud the issue
  • throw up a smoke screen
  • upset the apple cart

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