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Meaning of “mess” in the English Dictionary

"mess" in British English

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messnoun

uk   /mes/  us   /mes/
  • 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore 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.

messverb

uk   /mes/  us   /mes/
[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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"mess" in American English

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messnoun

 us   /mes/
  • mess noun (DISORDER)

[C usually sing] a condition of disorder and confusion, or something in that condition: They left the kitchen a mess. We sat in traffic for two hours while they cleaned up the mess from the accident.
[C usually sing] A mess is also a dirty condition: The puppy’s made a mess on the dining room rug.
[C usually sing] A mess is also a situation that is full of problems and difficulties: Traffic was a mess.
  • mess noun (ROOM)

[C] (also mess hall,  /ˈmes·hɔl/ ) a room or building in which members of the military eat their meals: the officers’ mess
mess
verb [I/T]  us   /mes/
infml [I/T] Don’t mess up my hair – I just combed it.
(Definition of mess from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“mess” in American English

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A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
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