muckrake

[muhk-reyk]
verb (used without object), muckraked, muckraking.
to search for and expose real or alleged corruption, scandal, or the like, especially in politics.

Origin:
1675–85; obsolete muck rake a rake for use on muck or dung. See muck, rake1

muckraker, noun
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World English Dictionary
muckrake (ˈmʌkˌreɪk)
 
n
1.  an agricultural rake for spreading manure
 
vb
2.  (intr) to seek out and expose scandal, esp concerning public figures
 
'muckraker
 
n
 
'muckraking
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
muckrakers [(muk-ray-kuhrz)]

Authors who specialize in exposing corruption in business, government, and elsewhere, especially those who were active at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Some famous muckrakers were Ida M. Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, and Upton Sinclair. President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with giving them their name.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
He is among the first of the muckrakers, both in time and rank, and has the faults and merits of their qualities.
The muckrakers charged senators with being financially beholden to the special interests.
Muckrakers exposed wrongdoing and suffering in politics and business.
Muckrakers were often accused of being socialists or communists.
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