- characterized by a dirty, untidy, or disordered condition: a messy room.
- causing a mess: a messy recipe; messy work.
- embarrassing, difficult, or unpleasant: a messy political situation.
- characterized by moral or psychological confusion.
Origin of messy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for messiness
Academics used to push politicians to see truth clearly—in all its messiness.McGill's Judith Butler Bungle
May 24, 2013
These nuns are far more enmeshed in the world, with all its messiness and ambiguities, than the male hierarchy is.Rebel Nuns
May 21, 2010
Progressives hate the messiness of this, preferring the direct application of reason by the intelligent elite.Why Partisan Bickering Works
February 23, 2010
The unwritten rule of luxury goods marketing is to rise above the messiness of the moment.De Beers: Diamonds Are a Recession's Best Friend
December 6, 2008
- dirty, confused, or untidy
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
Word Origin and History for messiness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper