to make something look untidy or dirty:
He scratched his head and messed his hair even more.
2 [intransitive and transitive] British English
if an animal or person messes something, they use the wrong place as a toilet:
He was so drunk that he messed the bed.
3 spoken informal
used to say that something was done very easily:
Williams won very comfortably, no messing.
to have meals in a room where members of the army, navy etc eat together
mess aroundphrasal verb
to spend time lazily, doing things slowly and in a way that is not planned:
He spent his vacation messing around on the farm.
to behave in a silly way when you should be paying attention or doing something sensible [= fool around]:
Stop messing around and get ready for school.
to cause a lot of problems for someone, especially by changing your mind often and not being completely honest:
Don't mess me about - I want the money you promised me.
mess around with somebody/somethingphrasal verb
to have a sexual relationship with someone that you should not have a sexual relationship with:
She'd been messing around with another man.
to spend time playing with something, repairing it etc:
Dave likes messing around with old cars.
to use something and make annoying changes to it:
Who's been messing around with my camera?
mess upphrasal verb
to spoil or ruin something, especially something important or something that has been carefully planned:
It took me ages to get this right - I don't want some idiot to mess it up.
She felt she'd messed up her whole life.
to make something dirty or untidy:
mess something ↔ up
Who messed up the kitchen?
to make a mistake and do something badly:
I think I messed up on the last question.
mess something ↔ up
It doesn't matter if you mess it up, you can always try again.
to make someone have emotional or mental problems:
I messed up my kids.
to hurt someone especially by hitting them
mess somebody ↔ upAmerican English informal
mess with somebody/somethingphrasal verb
to get involved with someone or something that may cause problems or be dangerous:
Don't mess with drugs.
to deceive someone or cause trouble for them:
You mess with me, and I'll rip your head off.
to try changing something, especially in a way that damages or spoils it