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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 muckrakers
Historical Examples
  • The old-fashioned mystery of the sea was replaced by the inscrutability of what some muckrakers called "The Pool."

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • The Prince of the muckrakers' contribution to the literature of awakening.

    The Boss and the Machine Samuel P. Orth
  • It became so savage and so wanton that the opening years of the twentieth century were well named "the age of the muckrakers."

    History of the United States Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard
  • By the second day we had ceased to be human and had begun to act like muckrakers.

    Abroad at Home Julian Street
  • He'll make your paper the official organ of the muckrakers' Union.

    The Clarion Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • muckrakers, prying into the storied past, have destroyed one after another many of the pet characters in history.

    Europe Revised Irvin S. Cobb
  • In a few hours there was enough shame around us to have lasted all the reformers and muckrakers I know a whole month.

    Abroad at Home Julian Street
  • Let the muckrakers worry and plan all they please for a sea-gate and a nation that's to run with its brains removed.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
British Dictionary definitions for muckrakers


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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muckrakers in Culture
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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