mess1 [ mes ] noun **
▸ 1 when someone/something is dirty
▸ 2 when there are problems
▸ 3 someone with problems
▸ 4 solid waste from animal
▸ 5 mess hall
1. ) count or uncount a situation in which a place is dirty or not neat:
Your room is a mess; please pick up your toys.
What a mess! she said, looking at the kitchen.
make a mess: Try not to make a mess on the clean carpet.
a ) count something that has been accidentally dropped or carelessly left, that makes a place look dirty:
I cleaned up the mess with a napkin.
There was a sticky mess on the kitchen floor.
b ) singular someone or something that looks dirty, not neat, or in bad condition:
Look at you you're a mess!
Mark's jeans were a mess by the time he finished painting.
c ) make a mess of something to make something look dirty or not neat:
That wine has made a real mess of the carpet.
2. ) => NOTE singular a difficult situation with a lot of problems, especially because people have made mistakes:
an economic mess
get into a mess: I don't know how we got into this mess.
get someone into a mess: You got me into this mess in the first place.
a ) make a mess of (doing) something to make a lot of mistakes when you are doing or dealing with something:
Tom felt he had made a mess of his life.
3. ) singular INFORMAL someone who is so nervous or who has so many problems that they cannot have a normal life:
I was a complete mess after the divorce.
4. ) count or uncount solid waste from an animal
5. ) count a room where people have their meals in the military: MESS HALL
a mess of something AMERICAN SPOKEN
a lot of something:
She had a whole mess of dolls in her bedroom.
mess 2 [ mes ] verb *
no messing SPOKEN
used for saying that someone does something in a determined way without wasting time:
He just walked into the boss's office and said he was leaving. No messing!
,mess a`round phrasal verb INFORMAL
1. ) intransitive to behave in a silly way:
Stop messing around I'm serious about this!
2. ) intransitive to spend time doing things in a relaxed way:
We spent the weekend messing around on John's boat.
3. ) intransitive to waste time doing things that are not important:
There's no point messing around. Let's start now.
not mess around: They don't mess around, do they? I ordered the book yesterday and it's already here.
4. ) intransitive to try to change, repair, or play with something, especially when this is unnecessary or unsuccessful:
mess around with: He'll spend hours messing around with that motorcycle.
5. ) intransitive to have sex or a sexual relationship with someone, especially when you should not:
mess around with: Diane's been messing around with a married man.
6. ) transitive mess someone around BRITISH to treat someone badly, especially by changing your mind or not doing what you promised
,mess `up phrasal verb
1. ) intransitive or transitive to make a mistake or do something badly:
She thinks she completely messed up the interview.
You messed up. Don't let it happen again.
2. ) transitive to make something dirty or not neat:
They had managed to mess up the whole office.
The wind had messed his hair up.
3. ) transitive INFORMAL to be the cause of someone's physical, emotional, or mental problems:
Drugs really messed her up.
The virus messed up my body so badly that they told me I was going to die.
4. ) transitive to damage or spoil something:
I'm not going to let him mess up my life.
`mess with or ,mess a`round with phrasal verb transitive INFORMAL
1. ) mess with someone to make someone angry or argue with them:
I wouldn't mess with her if I were you.
2. ) mess with something to become involved with something that is dangerous:
A lot of the kids had been messing around with drugs.
mess with someone's head VERY INFORMAL
to seriously upset someone or make them confused:
Don't mess with my head; are you kidding or not?

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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