Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

mess

2 verb
     
Related topics: Food, Military
mess2 S3
1 [transitive] 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

no messing

spoken informal used to say that something was done very easily:
Williams won very comfortably, no messing.
4 [intransitive]PMDF to have meals in a room where members of the army, navy etc eat together

mess around

phrasal verb
1 to spend time lazily, doing things slowly and in a way that is not planned:
He spent his vacation messing around on the farm.
2 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.
3

mess somebody around

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/something

phrasal verb
1 to have a sexual relationship with someone that you should not have a sexual relationship with:
She'd been messing around with another man.
2 to spend time playing with something, repairing it etc:
Dave likes messing around with old cars.
3 to use something and make annoying changes to it:
Who's been messing around with my camera?

mess up

phrasal verb
1

mess something ↔ up

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.
2

mess something ↔ up

to make something dirty or untidy:
Who messed up the kitchen?
3 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.
4

mess somebody ↔ up

to make someone have emotional or mental problems:
I messed up my kids.
5

mess somebody ↔ up

American English informal to hurt someone especially by hitting them

mess with somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to get involved with someone or something that may cause problems or be dangerous:
Don't mess with drugs.
2 to deceive someone or cause trouble for them:
You mess with me, and I'll rip your head off.
3 to try changing something, especially in a way that damages or spoils it

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