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mess

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verb mess pronunciation in British English /mes/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theymess
he/she/itmesses
present participlemessing
past tensemessed
past participlemessed

phrasal verbs

mess about

or mess around

Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theymess about
he/she/itmesses about
present participlemessing about
past tensemessed about
past participlemessed about
British informal
  1. 4
    [intransitive] to waste time doing things that are not important

    There’s no point messing about. Let’s start now.

    not mess about:

    They don’t mess about, do they? I ordered the book yesterday and it’s already come.

  2. 6
    [intransitive] to have sex or a sexual relationship with someone, especially when you should not
    mess about with:

    Diane’s been messing around with a married man.

mess up

Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theymess up
he/she/itmesses up
present participlemessing up
past tensemessed up
past participlemessed up
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to make a mistake, or to do something badly

    She says she completely messed up the interview.

    You messed up. Don’t let it happen again.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to make something dirty or untidy

    They had managed to mess up the whole office.

    The wind had messed his hair up.

  3. 3
    [transitive] informal to be the cause of someones physical, emotional, or mental problems

    Drugs really messed her up.

    The virus messed up my body so badly that they told me I was going to die.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to damage or spoil something

    I’m not going to let him mess up my life.

mess with

or mess around with

[transitive]
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theymess with
he/she/itmesses with
present participlemessing with
past tensemessed with
past participlemessed with
informal
  1. 1
    mess with someone to make someone angry, or to argue with them

    I wouldn’t mess with her if I were you.

  2. 2
    mess with something to become involved with something that is dangerous

    A lot of the kids had been messing with drugs.

SOLE

… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

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