mess up

phrasal verb

messed up; messing up; messes up
informal
: to make a mistake : to do something incorrectly
About halfway into the recipe, I realized that I had messed up, and I had to start over.
often + on
She's afraid she'll mess up on the test.
I messed up on my first attempt.

Examples of mess up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Life will always offer up little indignities and chances to mess up for Larry David. Esther Zuckerman, Rolling Stone, 8 Apr. 2024 Matt Damon messes up his math while also referencing his goofy Brett Kavanaugh impression. Andy Hoglund, EW.com, 7 Apr. 2024 Comedians mess up or intentionally break the rules, and After Midnight host Taylor Tomlinson kind of gets mad at them, but mostly everyone, including me, is laughing. David Pierce, The Verge, 31 Mar. 2024 My mind is all messed up and my emotions are all over the map. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 20 Mar. 2024 Sometimes, the people who are remembered for their achievements also messed up big time, just like me. Susan Vollenweider, Kansas City Star, 27 Mar. 2024 In both trials, his lawyers also mess up and hand the families’ lawyers evidence, such as a full history of his text messages that contradict Jones’s testimony on the stand. Jada Yuan, Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2024 Even though there’s no closure at the end, getting better incrementally and acknowledging that what happened to you was messed up is such a [big deal]. Selome Hailu, Variety, 9 Mar. 2024 Eric knows that his son feels immense academic and athletic pressure to obtain a higher education and not mess up the head start his family has worked so hard to provide him. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 7 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mess up.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near mess up

Cite this Entry

“Mess up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mess%20up. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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