Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

mess - definition and synonyms

 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun mess pronunciation in British English /mes/
Word Forms
Close
singularmess
pluralmesses
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  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. 5
    [countable/uncountable] solid waste from an animal

phrases

nanodegree

a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

hypocaust

an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog