mess around with

mess around with somebody

1. to treat someone badly He was always messing around with her, and she was right to leave him.
2. to have sex with someone other than your husband, wife, or usual sexual partner fool around with somebody She found out that her husband was messing around with her best friend.
See also: around, mess

mess around with something

to amuse yourself by doing or saying something that is likely to cause trouble fool around with something I don't know if I'm dealing with a 14-year-old messing around with a computer or if I'm dealing with organized crime.
See also: around, mess
References in periodicals archive ?
There are no 0-rings, no rubber bands and no washers to mess around with either.
Why not clear off to Starbucks, where staff have time to mess around with machines and milk froth?
He said: "When you get to the point with your shows that you mess around with the schedules and it affects the viewers when you go head to head, that to me is silly rivalry.
Nina Nineska Fidanoska in Utrinski vesnik wonders how the inspectors before shutting down stockrooms at Pero Nakov BB did not notice that there is another exit from the stockroom to ensure that nobody will mess around with the proof.
Now 21, Craig, of Ouston, near Chester-le-Street, has warned others not to mess around with fireworks tonight.
THE UGLY FACE OF BEAUTY Channel 4, 8pm Just a few years ago, people who had undergone extensive plastic surgery were considered a strange minority willing to mess around with their faces and bodies.
Its easy to use foaming cleansers will help you wash away the strains of the day easily without having to mess around with cotton wool buds.
By the end, the reader will probably say, "Don't mess around with reality.
The staff bends backward to please, even allowing picky eaters to mess around with the kitchen's prescribed flavor formulas.
Croce might have added one more item to that list: You don't mess around with dams - especially failing ones.
I would also like to remind people not to mess around with any firearm, whether it's an air weapon or an even more lethal weapon.
The drawings and sculpture show Harding in an exploratory mood, looking at ways to mess around with grids without sticking to his patented system--in Postage Drawing I, 2003, he does this with the adhesive surrounds left over when you've used the stamps they frame--and ways to use the system besides messing up the grids.
By most accounts, Deval Patrick is not a man you want to mess around with, especially if you're the head of a large U.