Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “mess”

mess

noun uk   /mes/ us  

mess noun (DIRT/UNTIDINESS)

B1 [S or U] Something or someone that is a mess, or is in a mess, looks dirty or untidy: He makes a terrible mess when he's cooking. Jem's house is always in a mess. Go and clear up that mess in the kitchen. Ian can't stand mess. I look a mess - I can't go out like this! My hair's such a mess today! [C] an animal's solid waste: Fido left another mess on the carpet.

mess noun (PROBLEMS)

B2 [S] a situation that is full of problems: She said that her life was a mess. I got myself into a mess by telling a lie. The company's finances are in a mess. [S] a person whose life is full of problems they cannot deal with: After the divorce he was a real mess and drinking too much. make a mess of sth (also mess sth up) to do something badly or spoil something: I've made a real mess of my exams.

mess noun (ROOM)

[C] (US also mess hall) a room or building in which members of the armed forces have their meals or spend their free time: The group captain was having breakfast in the mess hall. They spent their evenings in the officers' mess, drinking and playing cards. [C] Indian English a large public room where people have their meals; a dining hall

mess

verb uk   /mes/ us  
[T] mainly US (UK mess up) informal to make something untidy: Don't you dare mess my hair! [I] to leave solid waste somewhere: Next door's dog has messed on our steps again!
(Definition of mess from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of mess?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Difficult situations and unpleasant experiences, but you might be interested in these topics from the Easy and difficult topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “mess” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bright spark

a person who is intelligent, and full of energy and enthusiasm

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More