mess (something or someone) up

idiom

Definition of mess (something or someone) up

1 : to make mistakes when one is doing or making (something) He messed up the speech. I messed up my first attempt and had to try again.
2 : to make (something) dirty or untidy : to make a mess of (something) Don't mess up my room. The wind messed up her hair.
3 : to damage or ruin (something) She's really messed up her life. = She's really messed her life up. The bad weather messed up our vacation plans. Unfortunately, Short's last two seasons have been messed up by injury issues with his shoulder.— Will Ragatz My phone immediately began ringing. The callers said things like: "Hey, are you the jerk that messed up our street signs?" Some people in the community, it seems, were not pleased that their street had been renamed.— Mike Royko : to damage or change (something) so that it does not work properly I don't know what I did, but I somehow messed up the computer. My watch has been messed up ever since I dropped it in the sink. The mountains messed up the cell phone signal. The road construction messed traffic up for miles.
4 US : to beat and injure (someone) He got messed up by a bunch of bullies. They messed him up pretty badly.
5 : to make (someone) very upset and unhappy Breaking up with her boyfriend has really messed her up. She's been pretty messed up ever since she broke up with her boyfriend.

First Known Use of mess (something or someone) up

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for mess (something or someone) up

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The first known use of mess (something or someone) up was in 1871

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Dictionary Entries Near mess (something or someone) up

Messrs.

mess (something or someone) up

messtin

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Cite this Entry

“Mess (something or someone) up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mess%20%28something%20or%20someone%29%20up. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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