Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “mess”

See all translations

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. UK Jem's house is always in a mess. Go and clean up that mess in the kitchen. UK Freddy can't stand mess. mainly drUK 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.
More examples

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 started drinking too much.make a mess of sth ( also mess sth up) to do something badly or spoil something: I made a real mess of my final 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 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

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: The neighbour's dog has messed on our lawn again!
(Definition of mess from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of mess?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “mess” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

comma

the symbol , used in writing to separate parts of a sentence showing a slight pause, or to separate the single things in a list

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More