1. A moist sticky mixture, especially of mud and filth.
2. Moist farmyard dung; manure.
3. Dark fertile soil containing decaying vegetable matter.
4. Something filthy or disgusting.
5. Earth, rocks, or clay excavated in mining.
6. The pile of discarded cards, as in poker: threw his hand into the muck.
v. mucked, muck·ing, mucks
1. To fertilize with manure or compost.
2. To make dirty, especially with muck.
3. To remove muck or dirt from (a mine, for example).
4. To fold (one's hand) in a card game, especially by pushing one's cards away.
To muck one's hand in a card game.
muck about Chiefly British
To spend time idly; putter.
muck up Informal
To bungle, damage, or ruin.
[Middle English muk, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse myki, dung.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.