mess-up

[ mes-uhp ]
/ ˈmɛsˌʌp /

noun

a blunder; state of confusion; mix-up.

Origin of mess-up

First recorded in 1900–05; noun use of verb phrase mess up

Definition for mess up (2 of 2)

Origin of mess

1250–1300; Middle English mes < Old French: a course at a meal < Late Latin missus what is sent (i.e., put on the table), noun use of past participle of Latin mittere to send
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for mess up

mess

/ (mɛs) /

noun

verb

Word Origin for mess

C13: from Old French mes dish of food, from Late Latin missus course (at table), from Latin mittere to send forth, set out
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

Idioms and Phrases with mess up (1 of 2)

mess up


1

Create disorder in; muddle or ruin. For example, On rainy days the children really mess up the house, or He had a way of messing up his own business. [c. 1900]

2

Make a mistake, especially from nervousness or confusion, as in He messed up and took the wrong dossier to the meeting, or Jill swore she would never mess up again. [Colloquial; early 1900s]

3

Beat up, manhandle, as in Joe got messed up in a barroom brawl. [Slang; early 1900s]

Idioms and Phrases with mess up (2 of 2)

mess


In addition to the idioms beginning with mess

  • mess around
  • mess up
  • mess with

also see:

  • get into trouble (a mess)
  • make a hash (mess) of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.