1 mess /ˈmɛs/ noun
plural messes
1 mess
plural messes
Learner's definition of MESS
[count] : a very dirty or untidy state or condition usually singular
[singular] : something or someone that looks very dirty or untidy
: a situation that is very complicated or difficult to deal with
: something that is not organized well or working correctly
[singular] informal
: someone who is very unhappy, confused, etc.
US : someone who is showing a lot of emotion especially by crying
[count] : the place where people in the military eat
called also mess hall
[singular] US, informal : a large amount of something + of
informal : solid waste from an animal

make a mess of

: to ruin (something) or to make many mistakes in doing (something)
2 mess /ˈmɛs/ verb
messes; messed; messing
2 mess
messes; messed; messing
Learner's definition of MESS

mess around

[phrasal verb] informal or British mess about
: to spend time doing things that are not useful or serious : to waste time
: to have sex with someone who is not your husband, wife, or regular partner
often + with
mess (someone) around/about British : to cause problems or trouble for (someone) especially by making changes that are not expected
mess around/about with (something)
: to use or do (something) in a way that is not very serious
: to handle or play with (something) in a careless or foolish way

mess up

[phrasal verb] informal
: to make a mistake : to do something incorrectly
often + on
mess (something) up or mess up (something)
: to make mistakes when you are doing or making (something)
: to make (something) dirty or untidy : to make a mess of (something)
: to damage or ruin (something)
: to damage or change (something) so that it does not work properly
mess (someone) up or mess up (someone)
US : to beat and injure (someone)
: to make (someone) very upset and unhappy

mess with

[phrasal verb] informal
mess with (someone) : to cause trouble for (someone) : to deal with (someone) in a way that may cause anger or violence
mess with (something)
chiefly US : to deal with or be involved with (something that causes or that could cause trouble)
: to handle or play with (something) in a careless way : to mess around with (something)
◊ In very informal English, something that messes with your mind/head causes you to feel confused.