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

CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station VAVA USB-C Hub USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 are the ports of the future, but the transition sure has been messy in the present. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the home and home office," 19 Nov. 2018 The details around Wheaton’s suspension and subsequent decision to quit social media altogether are messy. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Twitter rival Mastodon isn’t safe from online mobs either," 31 Aug. 2018 But despite wearing the exact dress and even sporting Markle's signature messy bun, Haddish managed to put her own twist on the now famous wedding look. Fox News, "Tiffany Haddish wears replica of Meghan Markle's wedding dress at the MTV Movie & TV Awards," 19 June 2018 It was all framed by a messy bun left that way purposely by celebrity hairstylist Serge Normant. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The long-term influence of Meghan Markle’s royal wedding makeup," 21 May 2018 Yesterday, Kim took to Instagram to share a pretty stunning pic of herself rocking some casual leggings, a puffer jacket, and a pink messy bun while abroad in Japan. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Tyga Just Shaded Kim Kardashian So Hard on Instagram," 7 Mar. 2018 For example, the sink is actually tucked around the corner to keep messy dishes out of sight; a large pantry holds essentials behind closed doors. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "Embracing nature—and minimalism—in North Carolina," 26 Nov. 2018 Lucky for us, Hailey and Justin's families were there to document the entire messy ordeal, and the birthday girl's adorable reaction to her husband's cute trick. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin's First Thanksgiving as a Married Couple Got Messy," 23 Nov. 2018 Red carpet hair is an eternal study in balance: too done and the look reads overwrought, but slapdash can easily skew more messy than romantic. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Emma Stone Has a Disney Princess Moment—And It Comes Down to This Tiny Detail," 19 Nov. 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

15 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on messy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with messy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for messy

Spanish Central: Translation of messy

Nglish: Translation of messy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of messy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on messy

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