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muckrake

[muhk-reyk] /ˈmʌkˌreɪk/
verb (used without object), muckraked, muckraking.
1.
to search for and expose real or alleged corruption, scandal, or the like, especially in politics.
Origin
1675-1685
1675-85; obsolete muck rake a rake for use on muck or dung. See muck, rake1
Related forms
muckraker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for muckraker
  • He tells this toxic story with visual flair and the statistical punch of an inspired muckraker.
  • After twenty years in the field, he won renown as a muckraker and politician.
British Dictionary definitions for muckraker

muckrake

/ˈmʌkˌreɪk/
noun
1.
an agricultural rake for spreading manure
verb
2.
(intransitive) to seek out and expose scandal, esp concerning public figures
Derived Forms
muckraker, noun
muckraking, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for muckraker
n.

c.1600, "one who rakes muck," from muck (n.) + agent noun from rake (v.). Meaning "one who inquires into and publishes scandal and allegations of corruption among political and business leaders," popularized 1906 in speech by President Theodore Roosevelt, in reference to "man ... with a Muckrake in his hand" in Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" (1684) who seeks worldly gain by raking filth.

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. [T. Roosevelt, quoted in "Cincinnati Enquirer," April 15, 1906.]
Muckrake in sense "person who hunts scandal" is attested from 1872. To muckrake (v.) in the literal sense is from 1879; figuratively from 1910. Related: Muckraking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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