verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- Informal. to busy oneself without purpose or plan; work aimlessly or halfheartedly; putter.
- Informal. to waste time; loaf.
- Informal. to meddle or interfere.
- Informal. to involve or associate oneself, especially for immoral or unethical purposes: His wife accused him of messing around with gamblers.
- Slang. to trifle sexually; philander.
- to make dirty, untidy, or disordered.
- to make muddled, confused, etc.; make a mess of; spoil; botch.
- to perform poorly; bungle: She messed up on the final exam.
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Origin of mess
Words nearby mess
Example sentences from the Web for mess
The upcoming US presidential election seems set to be something of a mess—to put it lightly.Microsoft’s New Deepfake Detector Puts Reality to the Test|Vanessa Bates Ramirez|September 4, 2020|Singularity Hub
Cleanup also has to be simple, because when your vehicle is full, even small greasy messes can create big problems.5 Portable Grills for All Your Outdoor Cooking Needs|Amy Marturana Winderl|September 2, 2020|Outside Online
“I just thought it was extremely odd to, say the least – just a way to mess with the homeless and those that need the discount,” Sheetz said.MTS Frequently Overrules Doctors’ Orders on Reduced Fares for the Disabled|Lisa Halverstadt|August 31, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Work and life were colliding in ways that it was impossible to stay organized and looking at the mess while I was watching TV on the couch was making me more stressed out.
Make the easy into a festering mess of sweat and cursing and they’ll mosey along.
Texas has always had a sense of place—that is why we are told not to mess with it.
It was being the riskiest studio in Hollywood that got Sony into this mess in the first place.Sony: Hollywood’s Most Subversive Studio Under Attack|Marlow Stern|December 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In fact, that candy store is heavy industry, with all the mess that entails.
“The idea was to mess with the concept of Christmas,” recalled John Law, an original Cacophony member.Before the Bros, SantaCon Was as an Anti-Corporate Protest|David Freedlander|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“Every time you see me, you want to mess with me,” Garner exclaimed, short of breath.Before Eric Garner, There Was Michael Stewart: The Tragic Story of the Real-Life Radio Raheem|Marlow Stern|December 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We had put our trust in these west winds; if they failed us we should be in a mess.The South Pole, Volumes 1 and 2|Roald Amundsen
The president of the mess, supposing him to be ill, sent to make inquiries.Domestic folk-lore|T. F. Thiselton-Dyer
Then we told him if he had joined our mess and let us sleep with him he would have had a share in the chicken pot.The Southern Soldier Boy|James Carson Elliott
Tents, mess kits, some food and a few blankets were all that were left in the nearby camp.Grace Harlowe's Overland Riders Among the Kentucky Mountaineers|Jessie Graham Flower
He was in a regiment, and the mess would persist in calling him Jack, for short.The Sign of the Spider|Bertram Mitford
British Dictionary definitions for mess
Word Origin for mess
Idioms and Phrases with mess
In addition to the idioms beginning with mess
- mess around
- mess up
- mess with
- get into trouble (a mess)
- make a hash (mess) of