Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To search for and expose misconduct in public life.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A rake for scraping muck or filth. Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • obs. A rake for scraping up muck or dung. See muckrake, v. i., below.
  • intransitive verb To seek for, expose, or charge, especially habitually, corruption, real or alleged, on the part of public men and corporations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb to search for and expose corruption or scandal especially as done by a journalist.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb explore and expose misconduct and scandals concerning public figures

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From the man with the muckrake, tool for raking muck, who cannot look up to heaven because he is so obsessed with the muck of worldly profit, in Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

muck + rake

Examples

Comments

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  • "A man could look no way but downwards, with a muckrake in his hands."

    John Bunyan (1628-1688), Pilgrim's Progress

    September 20, 2009

  • Hence Teddy Roosevelt's public comment that spawned the label muckraker and the WordNet meaning above (though it's not phrased particularly well).

    September 21, 2009