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. Verb
please don't mess with me while I'm trying to concentrate See More
Recent Examples on the Web
All of the models came out and danced along, a pulsating mess of smiles and flowing fabrics.—Harry Hill, ELLE, 9 Sep. 2023 The house is currently used as the main officers’ mess for RAF Halton, one of the largest air force stations in the United Kingdom.—Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 8 Sep. 2023 The dish ended by leaking into the bag and turning much of our packaging into a soggy mess.—Mara Severin | Eating Out, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Sep. 2023 Putting out a fire early can mean the difference between a small, smoky mess and widespread wreckage.—Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 7 Sep. 2023 What should have been a light summer romp is a boring mess.—Dallasnews.com Staff, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2023 Aside from limiting the ability to explore the city—and creating a muddy mess outside my tent—the weather didn’t impact my quality of life too much.—Emma Specter, Vogue, 7 Sep. 2023 The hurricane has already caused a mess for some travelers.—Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2023 Prevent an unsightly mess by painting the interior charcoal black, as seen in this bright coastal living room.—Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 30 Aug. 2023
Storms intensify when there's nothing else messing them up, Bourassa said.—Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2023 She has been put in charge of dessert and inevitably messes it up, causing everyone to pretend to like her half English Trifle, half Shepherd's Pie creation.—House Beautiful, 7 Sep. 2023 Using it correctly is unsatisfying, and messing it up is maddening.—Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 30 Aug. 2023 Binns has always taken a Dadaist approach and aesthetic—break it all down to bring it back together; mess it up to elicit a strange kind of beauty.—Mark Holgate, Vogue, 23 Aug. 2023 The man clearly does not mess in the fitness department.—Alexis Jones, Women's Health, 16 Aug. 2023 Perhaps sheer momentum and incumbency will preserve Twitter’s status as the de facto public forum no matter how much its owner messes it up.—Michael Muchmore, PCMAG, 6 July 2023 His skills have their charms, too: When potential romance comes a-knocking in the form of a journalist, Iris West (Kiersey Clemons), Barry can tidy up his bachelor pad (but also mess it up again) in record time.—Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2023 But the second-generation Italian-American son is worried that his first-generation Italian immigrant father will mess things up with his exuberant ways.—Lawrence Specker | Lspecker@al.com, al, 25 May 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mess.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Noun and Verb
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