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 Code that's messy is a different problem than code that's written poorly. Jeremy Duvall, Forbes, 11 May 2021 And the results of this inner conflict were, unsurprisingly, messy. Dan Blumenthal, WSJ, 11 May 2021 The quarterback situation is messy, the defense is wobbly, and the lines are porous. oregonlive, 11 May 2021 The world is appealingly elaborate, but its characters are messy and the plot is octopine. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 9 May 2021 The woman who cared for Bryant in foster care, Angela Moore, later told CNN that a fight began between Bryant and two former foster family members about the home being messy. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 28 Apr. 2021 What was liberating was being able to look at myself as someone who could be messy. Kristin Iversen, refinery29.com, 21 Apr. 2021 With only a handful of games to go for all four teams, things could get messy for the Cavaliers. Evan Dammarell, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Figuring that out — equitably and reasonably — can get messy. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Apr. 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

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Messy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/messy. Accessed 17 Jun. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for messy

Nglish: Translation of messy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of messy for Arabic Speakers

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