AskDefine | Define mud

Dictionary Definition



1 water soaked soil; soft wet earth [syn: clay]
2 slanderous remarks or charges


1 soil with mud, muck, or mire; "The child mucked up his shirt while playing ball in the garden" [syn: mire, muck, muck up]
2 plaster with mud [also: mudding, mudded]

User Contributed Dictionary

see MUD



Unattested in Old English; probably cognate with (or perhaps directly borrowed from) Middle Dutch modde, Middle Low German modde, mudde (Low German Mudd).



  1. A mixture of water and soil.
  2. A plaster-like mixture used to texture or smooth drywall.
  3. (construction industry slang) Wet concrete as it is being mixed, delivered, and poured.


soil and water






  1. old measure of volume, mostly used for potatoes: 1 mud is about 70 kg potatoes

Extensive Definition

Mud is a liquid or semi-liquid mixture of water and some combination of soil, silt, and clay. Ancient mud deposits harden over geological time to form siltstone or solid, mudrock lutites. When geological deposits of mud are formed in estuaries the resultant layers are termed bay muds. Mud is closely related to slurry and sediment.
Mud, in the construction industry, refers to wet plaster, stucco, cement or other similar substances.
In ceramics, the making of liquid mud (called slip) is a stage in the process of refinement of the materials, since larger particles will settle out of the liquid.
Mud is similar to muck, but lacking significant quantities of humus, and often containing higher proportions of sand.

As habitat

Mud can provide a home for numerous types of animals, including varieties of worms, frogs, snails, clams, and crayfish. Other animals, such as pigs and elephants bathe in mud in order to cool off and protect themselves from the sun. Humans have also used mud as a building material, or a sealant material.


Clay soil can pose problems for traffic when moisture is present. A road built upon such soil may become stable over time as the packing of the soil will make it more water-resistant. However, any attempt to grade it can be disastrous, since excess water can then enter the surface and will be worked in by traffic, transforming portions of the road into a mud bog that can trap vehicles. The typical solution in road building is to add layers of crushed stone. The stone particles will interlock and distribute the weight of a vehicle over a larger surface area. Proper drainage is also essential when low spots are encountered by the road, usually requiring the addition of culverts to pass water underneath the elevation of the road.
Buildings constructed upon clay soil must also be properly drained around their perimeter, particularly where a perimeter foundation (rather than a monolithic slab) is used. As clay will expand and soften when moisture is added, the resultant mud will squeeze out from underneath the foundation, however, in the next dry cycle it will contract, but the clay squeezed out will not return. Over a number of such cycles the foundation can sink in the moisture-cycled locations, possibly causing both wall and foundation cracks. Maintaining a constant moisture level in firm soil is important and can be effected by appropriate landscaping and landscaping maintenance. Where drainage is toward a building a French drain may be installed to route water around the building.

In pop culture

Mud is used in mud wrestling, as a form of entertainment. A mud bath is an alternative-medicine treatment. It can also be used in a Dunk Tank.
mud in Aymara: Ñiq'i
mud in Czech: Bahno
mud in Danish: Mudder
mud in German: Schlamm
mud in Estonian: Muda
mud in Spanish: Barro
mud in Esperanto: Ŝlimo
mud in French: Boue
mud in Hindi: मिट्टी
mud in Indonesian: Lumpur
mud in Italian: Fango
mud in Hebrew: בוץ
mud in Hungarian: Iszap
mud in Dutch: Modder
mud in Japanese: 泥
mud in Portuguese: Lama
mud in Russian: Грязь
mud in Finnish: Liete
mud in Turkish: Çamur
mud in Ukrainian: Шлам
mud in Yiddish: מאראסט
mud in Chinese: 泥

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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