Something that's murky is dim, gloomy or hard to see through clearly. Think of the dark fog around a haunted house or the cloudy, muddy water in a swamp.

Rarely used before the 17th century, this adjective came about by adding a "y" to the word murk. Murk itself evolved from myrkr, a Norse word for "darkness.” Things that are murky are unclear; that goes for murky, sediment-filled lakes, shady business deals, and arguments that don't seem to make any sense.

Definitions of murky

adj (of liquids) clouded as with sediment

murky waters”
cloudy, mirky, muddy, turbid
not transmitting or reflecting light or radiant energy; impenetrable to sight

adj dark or gloomy

“a murky dungeon”
murky rooms lit by smoke-blackened lamps”
protected from heat and light with shade or shadow

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