American English

Definition of mess noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    dirty state
  1. 1[countable, usually singular] a condition in which things are dirty or not neat The room was a mess. The kids made a mess in the bathroom. What a mess!” she said, surveying the scene after the party. My hair's a real mess!
  2. difficult situation
  3. 2[countable, usually singular] a situation that is full of problems, usually because of a lack of organization or because of mistakes that someone has made The economy is in a mess. I feel like I made a mess of things. The whole situation is a mess. Let's try to sort out this mess. The biggest question is how they got into this mess in the first place. (ironic) That's another fine mess you've gotten us into.
  4. person
  5. 3[singular] a person who is dirty or whose clothes and hair are not neat You're a mess!
  6. 4[singular] (informal) a person who has serious problems and is in a bad mental condition When my wife left me I was a total mess.
  7. animal waste
  8. 5[uncountable, countable] (informal) the excrement (= solid waste matter) of an animal, usually a dog or cat
  9. a lot
  10. 6[singular] a mess of something (informal) a lot of something There's a mess of fish down there, so get your lines in the water.
  11. armed forces
  12. 7[countable] (also mess hall) a building or room in which members of the armed forces have their meals the officers' mess
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: mess