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[muhd-lahrk] /ˈmʌdˌlɑrk/
Chiefly British. a person who gains a livelihood by searching for iron, coal, old ropes, etc., in mud or low tide.
Chiefly British Informal. a street urchin.
either of two black and white birds, Grallina cyanoleuca, of Australia, or G. bruijni, of New Guinea, that builds a large, mud nest.
verb (used without object)
to grub or play in mud.
Origin of mudlark
1790-1800; mud + lark1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mudlark
Historical Examples
  • This was Captain Abersouth, formerly of the mudlark—as good a seaman as ever sat on the taffrail reading a three volume novel.

  • So I shipped as mate on the mudlark, bound from London to wherever the captain might think it expedient to sail.

  • As a lad I slept with the rats, held horses, swept crossings and lived like a mudlark!

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • On the voyage of which I write he had taken no cargo at all; he said it would only make the mudlark heavy and slow.

  • You wade along in this way step by step, like a mudlark at Portsmouth Hard, hoping gradually to regain the surface.

    South! Sir Ernest Shackleton
British Dictionary definitions for mudlark


(slang, rare) a street urchin
(formerly) one who made a living by picking up odds and ends in the mud of tidal rivers
(Austral, slang) a racehorse that runs well on a wet or muddy course
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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