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Meaning of mess

mess

Pronunciation: (mes), [key]
— n.
  1. a dirty, untidy, or disordered condition: The room was in a mess.
  2. a person or thing that is dirty, untidy, or disordered.
  3. a state of embarrassing confusion: My affairs are in a mess.
  4. an unpleasant or difficult situation: She got into a mess driving without a license.
  5. a dirty or untidy mass, litter, or jumble: a mess of papers.
  6. a group regularly taking their meals together.
  7. the meal so taken.
  8. See
  9. messroom.
  10. a quantity of food sufficient for a dish or a single occasion: to pick a mess of sweet corn for dinner.
  11. a sloppy or unappetizing preparation of food.
  12. a dish or quantity of soft or liquid food: to cook up a nice mess of pottage.
  13. a person whose life or affairs are in a state of confusion, esp. a person with a confused or disorganized moral or psychological outlook.
—v.t.
  1. to make dirty or untidy (often fol. by up): Don't mess the room.
  2. to make a mess or muddle of (affairs, responsibilities, etc.) (often fol. by up): They messed the deal.
  3. to supply with meals, as military personnel.
  4. to treat roughly; beat up (usually followed by up): The gang messed him up.
—v.i.
  1. to eat in company, esp. as a member of a mess.
  2. to make a dirty or untidy mess.
  3. or His wife accused him of messing around with gamblers.
    1. Informal.to busy oneself without purpose or plan; work aimlessly or halfheartedly; putter.
    2. Informal.to waste time; loaf.
    3. Informal.to meddle or interfere.
    4. Informal.to involve or associate oneself, esp. for immoral or unethical purposes:His wife accused him of messing around with gamblers.
    5. Slang.to trifle sexually; philander.
  4. orto intervene officiously; meddle: You'll get no thanks for messing in the affairs of others.
  5. She messed up on the final exam.
    1. to make dirty, untidy, or disordered.
    2. to make muddled, confused, etc.; make a mess of; spoil; botch.
    3. to perform poorly; bungle:She messed up on the final exam.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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