Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

messy

play
adjective, \ˈme-sē\

Simple Definition of messy

  • : not clean or tidy

  • : carelessly made or done : not careful or precise

  • : causing or involving a mess : likely to make something dirty or sticky

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of messy

messiermessiest

  1. 1 :  marked by confusion, disorder, or dirt :  untidy <a messy room>

  2. 2 :  lacking neatness or precision :  careless, slovenly

  3. 3 :  extremely unpleasant or trying <messy lawsuits>

messily play \ˈme-sə-lē\ adverb
messiness play \ˈme-sē-nəs\ noun

Examples of messy in a sentence

  1. Painting a room can be messy work.

  2. Some kinds of glue are messier than others.

  3. a delicious but messy sandwich



1843

First Known Use of messy

1843

Rhymes with messy


MESSY Defined for Kids

messy

play
adjective \ˈme-sē\

Definition of messy for Students

messiermessiest

  1. 1 :  not clean or tidy <a messy room>

  2. 2 :  causing or making a mess <a messy art project>

  3. 3 :  not careful or precise <messy writing>

messiness \ˈme-sē-nəs\ noun




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up messy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by grandiloquent style

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove soothe perplex reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ