Simple Definition of mess
: a very dirty or untidy state or condition
: something or someone that looks very dirty or untidy
: a situation that is very complicated or difficult to deal with
Full Definition of mess
1 : a quantity of food: a archaic : food set on a table at one time b : a prepared dish of soft food; also : a mixture of ingredients cooked or eaten together c : enough food of a specified kind for a dish or a meal <picked a mess of peas for dinner>
2 a : a group of persons who regularly take their meals together; also : a meal so taken b : a place where meals are regularly served to a group : mess hall
3 a : a disordered, untidy, offensive, or unpleasant state or condition <your room is in a mess> b : one that is disordered, untidy, offensive, or unpleasant usually because of blundering, laxity, or misconduct <[the movie] is a mess, as sloppy in concept as it is in execution — Judith Crist>
4 : a large quantity or number
Examples of mess
He was a mess after gardening all day.
My hair is a mess.
Well, that's another fine mess you've gotten me into!
How do we get ourselves into these messes?
The school system is a mess.
Things were a real mess for a while after she retired.
My life is a complete mess.
She was a real mess for a while after her divorce.
He was a mess during his daughter's wedding ceremony.
Origin of mess
Middle English mes, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin missus course at a meal, from missus, past participle of mittere to put, from Latin, to send — more at smite
First Known Use: 14th century
Definition of mess
1 : to provide with meals at a mess
3 : to interfere with —often used with up <magnetic storms that mess up communications — Time>
4 : to rough up : manhandle —often used with up <mess him up good so he won't cheat us again>
1 : to take meals with a mess
2 : to make a mess
3 a : putter, trifle <children like to mess around with paints> b : to handle or play with something especially carelessly <don't mess with my camera> —often used with around c : to take an active interest in something or someone <messing around with new video techniques>; also : interfere, meddle <messing in other people's affairs> <you'd better not mess with me>
4 : to become confused or make an error —usually used with up
Examples of mess
<please don't mess with me while I'm trying to concentrate>
First Known Use of mess
Seen and Heard
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