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mess - definition and synonyms

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noun     mess pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a situation in which a place is dirty or untidy

    Your room is a mess; please pick up your toys.

    ‘What a mess!’ she said, looking at the kitchen.

    make a mess:

    Try not to make a mess because I’ve been cleaning.

    in a mess:

    His papers were in a terrible mess.

    1. a.
      [countable] something that has been accidentally dropped or carelessly left, so that it makes a place look dirty

      I cleaned up the mess with a napkin.

      There was a sticky mess on the kitchen floor.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      [singular] someone or something that looks dirty, untidy, or in bad condition

      Look at you – you’re a mess!

      Mark’s jeans were a mess by the time he finished painting.

  2. 2
    [singular] a difficult situation with a lot of problems, especially because people have made mistakes

    an economic mess

    be in a mess:

    The company was in a complete mess when she took over.

    get into a mess:

    I don’t know how we got into this mess.

    get someone into a mess:

    You got me into this mess in the first place.

  3. 3
    [singular] informal someone who is so nervous or who has so many problems that they cannot have a normal life

    I was a complete mess after the divorce.

  4. 4
    [countable] a room where people have their meals in the armed forces
  5. 5
    [countable/uncountable] solid waste from an animal
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