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[muhk-reyk] /ˈmʌkˌreɪk/
verb (used without object), muckraked, muckraking.
to search for and expose real or alleged corruption, scandal, or the like, especially in politics.
Origin of muckrake
1675-85; obsolete muck rake a rake for use on muck or dung. See muck, rake1
Related forms
muckraker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for muckraker
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What a drop for Joe, from what he had been, to this wretched violent little sheet, this muckraker of the ocean world.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • muckraker: One who sits on the fence and defames American enterprise as it marches by.

    The Roycroft Dictionary Elbert Hubbard
  • And when the term "muckraker" came into use, I remember his deep satisfaction.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • A somewhat similar experiment was concerned with a magazine editor and a life-size mannikin made up to resemble a muckraker.

    The Patient Observer Simeon Strunsky
  • It was a relief not to be accepted only as Everett the muckraker, as a professional reformer, as one holier than others.

    Once Upon A Time Richard Harding Davis
  • For some moments the muckraker considered the statement thoughtfully.

    Once Upon A Time Richard Harding Davis
  • A loyal Adopted Son of California, a novelist and muckraker, returned a few years ago to the beloved land of his adoption.

    The Native Son Inez Haynes Irwin
British Dictionary definitions for muckraker


an agricultural rake for spreading manure
(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

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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