Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical.


adj. mess·i·er, mess·i·est
a. Disorderly and dirty: a messy bedroom.
b. Given to making messes; not neat or organized: a messy roommate.
2. Exhibiting or demonstrating carelessness: messy reasoning.
3. Unpleasantly difficult to settle or resolve: a messy court case.

mess′i·ly adv.
mess′i·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.messiness - a state of confusion and disorderlinessmessiness - a state of confusion and disorderliness; "the house was a mess"; "she smoothed the mussiness of the bed"
disorderliness, disorder - a condition in which things are not in their expected places; "the files are in complete disorder"
2.messiness - the trait of being untidy and messymessiness - the trait of being untidy and messy
uncleanliness - lack of cleanly habits
disarray, disorderliness - untidiness (especially of clothing and appearance)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The state of being messy or unkempt:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
sóîaskapur; óreiîa


(mes) noun
a state of disorder or confusion; an untidy, dirty or unpleasant sight or muddle. This room is in a terrible mess!; She looked a mess; The spilt food made a mess on the carpet.
(with with) to meddle, or to have something to do with. She's always messing with the television set.
ˈmessy adjective
dirty. a messy job.
ˈmessily adverb
ˈmessiness noun
ˈmess-up noun
a muddle or state of confusion. There has been a mess-up in the timetable.
make a mess of
1. to make dirty, untidy or confused. The heavy rain has made a real mess of the garden.
2. to do badly. He made a mess of his essay.
3. to spoil or ruin (eg one's life). He made a mess of his life by drinking too much.
mess about/around
1. to behave in a foolish or annoying way. The children were shouting and messing about.
2. to work with no particular plan in a situation that involves mess. I love messing about in the kitchen.
3. (with with) to meddle or interfere with. Who's been messing about with my papers?
4. to upset or put into a state of disorder or confusion. The wind messed her hair about.
mess up
to spoil; to make a mess of. Don't mess the room up!
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in periodicals archive ?
We want romance without the difficulties and messiness of committing to someone so different from ourselves.
He sees the news as a positive strategic decision for FedEx, and does not expect a materially negative reaction in the shares, though it could add "further messiness" to guidance, the analyst added.
Given the inevitable messiness of day-time drinking over the festivities, it is perhaps wisest to celebrate in moderation.
The OpenAI team got around this by adding randomness to the virtual training, giving the robot a proxy for the messiness of reality.
Burke said the decision to forego a host this year was taken after what she called "the messiness" over the Hart withdrawal.
"Hosting the 'Double Dare Live' tour couldn't be any more exciting, and I look forward to bringing the fun and messiness of 'Double Dare' to audiences across the country," Summers said in a statement.
Grab the mix-tape and crank up the volume as, track by track, they take you through the messiness of debt.
Their lives are flawed and paradoxical, and Jarrar unflinchingly tackles the messiness of familial disappointment, love, and sex.
Tempest was quoted as saying: "Running Upon The Wires charts heartbreak from the point of break-up all the way through the messiness and self-destruction and drunkenness into the redemptive nature of new love.
But their relationship is put to the test in the face of substance abuse, mental illness and the messiness of true love.
With its beautiful representation of the messiness of modern life, I can't wait to watch the remaining six episodes of this unique series.