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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)
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