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Learner's definition of MESS  
[count]  : a very dirty or untidy state or condition — usually singular
   b  [singular]  : something or someone that looks very dirty or untidy
: a situation that is very complicated or difficult to deal with
   b  : something that is not organized well or working correctly
informal [singular] 
: someone who is very unhappy, confused, etc.
   b  US  : someone who is showing a lot of emotion especially by crying
[count]  : the place where people in the military eat
— called also mess hall
[singular]US, informal  : a large amount of something — + of
informal  : solid waste from an animal

make a mess of

: to ruin (something) or to make many mistakes in doing (something)
Learner's definition of MESS  

mess around

[phrasal verb]informalor Britishmess about
: to spend time doing things that are not useful or serious : to waste time
: to have sex with someone who is not your husband, wife, or regular partner — often + with
mess (someone) around/aboutBritish  : to cause problems or trouble for (someone) especially by making changes that are not expected
mess around/about with (something) 
: to use or do (something) in a way that is not very serious
   b  : to handle or play with (something) in a careless or foolish way

mess up

[phrasal verb]informal
: to make a mistake : to do something incorrectly — often + on
mess (something) up or mess up (something) 
: to make mistakes when you are doing or making (something)
   b  : to make (something) dirty or untidy : to make a mess of (something)
   c  : to damage or ruin (something) : to damage or change (something) so that it does not work properly
mess (someone) up or mess up (someone) 
US  : to beat and injure (someone)
   b  : to make (someone) very upset and unhappy

mess with

[phrasal verb]informal
mess with (someone)  : to cause trouble for (someone) : to deal with (someone) in a way that may cause anger or violence
mess with (something) 
chiefly US  : to deal with or be involved with (something that causes or that could cause trouble)
   b  : to handle or play with (something) in a careless way : to mess around with (something)
◊ In very informal English, something that messes with your mind/head causes you to feel confused.
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