messy

adjective
\ ˈme-sē How to pronounce messy (audio) \
messier; messiest

Definition of messy

1 : marked by confusion, disorder, or dirt : untidy a messy room
2 : lacking neatness or precision : careless, slovenly messy thinking
3 : extremely unpleasant or trying messy lawsuits a messy divorce

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Other Words from messy

messily \ ˈme-​sə-​lē How to pronounce messy (audio) \ adverb
messiness \ ˈme-​sē-​nəs How to pronounce messy (audio) \ noun

Examples of messy in a Sentence

Painting a room can be messy work. Some kinds of glue are messier than others. a delicious but messy sandwich
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Recent Examples on the Web Customers wear plastic bibs and plastic gloves because the meal is claw-crackingly messy. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, 24 Sep. 2021 But even though Chastain has clearly studied Tammy Faye’s mannerisms and vocal tics and runs through them admirably, the movie’s candy-colored varnish seems to have waterproofed it against anything so messy as real feeling—or judicious assessment. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 17 Sep. 2021 Coal tar can help relieve your symptoms but can be messy to use. Korin Mille, SELF, 1 Sep. 2021 The process of collecting this data was just really messy. Shannon Rae Green, USA TODAY, 22 Aug. 2021 This is a very, this hairstyle can be very, very messy. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 4 Aug. 2021 Like Fanny, Mortimer gravitated towards Linda’s allure, creating a story that stresses the very messy feelings around women navigating their desires against what’s expected of them. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, 30 July 2021 But, the next year, something very messy happened, which affected our homes, relationships and offices: the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home orders. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 Classic comedy featuring messy Oscar Madison and his tidy roommate Felix Unger. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 13 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'messy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of messy

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for messy

Last Updated

26 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Messy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/messy. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for messy

messy

adjective

English Language Learners 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

messy

adjective
\ ˈme-sē How to pronounce messy (audio) \
messier; messiest

Kids Definition of messy

1 : not clean or tidy a messy room
2 : causing or making a mess a messy art project
3 : not careful or precise messy writing

Other Words from messy

messiness \ ˈme-​sē-​nəs \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on messy

Nglish: Translation of messy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of messy for Arabic Speakers

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