messy

adjective
\ˈme-sē \
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 \ adverb
messiness \ˈme-sē-nəs \ 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

Trump Effect Trade wars are messy, with impacts that are difficult to forecast, but one group that generally takes a hit is consumers (also known as voters). NBC News, "Trade war could turn Trump's biggest strength into weakness," 8 July 2018 Give us messy, give us miserable, give us monstrous. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Why calling women 'strong female leads' is degrading," 2 July 2018 If this book were a novel, the artist would have been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art by now, but Art School arrives at a messier, braver conclusion. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "This Woman Went to Art School in Her 60s, Proving It’s Never Too Late to Pivot," 21 June 2018 The mother's side of the home was well maintained and the defendant's side was messy, with items stacked on top of his bed and an assortment of weapons — including two Samurai swords — lined up against a wall, according to the detective. City News Service, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Man who stabbed his mother in Clairemont home convicted of murder," 11 June 2018 The key to flavorful pork tenderloin is making sure the meat is well-coated in marinade, so don’t be afraid to get your hands messy and knead away in the name of stress relief. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit, "A Spicy Pork Tenderloin Bowl That's So Easy You Hardly Need This Recipe," 30 May 2018 Cutting into meat to make sure it's done spills juices and looks messy. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "The Beginner's Guide to Grilling Any Type of Food," 12 June 2018 Cuban was sweating and his hair looked messy, the former employee said. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, OregonLive.com, "Mark Cuban drunk, 'gropey,' in 2011 incident that led to sex abuse inquiry, Portland bar employee says," 7 Mar. 2018 But accounting for the full range of costs and risks inherent in cutting Pakistan loose, along with the likelihood that this punishment won’t prove corrective, the balance sheet begins to look messier. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "Pakistan Is a Problematic Ally, But Trump Cutting It Off Won’t Change That," 7 Jan. 2018

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

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for messy

The first known use of messy was in 1627

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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 \
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

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Comments on messy

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