mess with

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Related to mess with: mess around with, worse for wear

mess with (someone or something)

1. To change, fiddle, or play with something, often without permission to do so. My tools are not toys—please do not mess with them. Hey, don't mess with the thermostat—it needs to stay at 65 degrees.
2. To clash with someone or something. That group of boys is dangerous—don't mess with them.
3. To tease or mock someone. Sarah's a very sensitive kid, so don't mess with her.
4. To confuse or puzzle someone. One minute he's flirting with me, and the next, he's completely disinterested. His mixed signals are totally messing with my head!
See also: mess

mess with someone or something

 and monkey with someone or something
to bother or interfere with someone or something. Come on, don't monkey with my new camera. Don't mess with me unless you want trouble.
See also: mess

mess with

Interfere or associate with; also, annoy, bother. For example, Our group won't mess with those street musicians, or I told him not to mess with me or there would be trouble. [Colloquial; c. 1900]
See also: mess

mess with

1. To alter something improperly: Don't mess with the arrangement of the chairs—they're all set up for the meeting.
2. To deceive or confuse someone or something: The horrible accident really messed with my head.
See also: mess
References in periodicals archive ?
The Texas Department of Transportation celebrated the start of its Don't Mess with Texas campaign's silver anniversary with a Celebrity Face-Off.
The sheer number of votes in the Face-Off shows Don't Mess with Texas is adored for its commercials," said TxDOT Travel Information Division Director Doris Howdeshell.
The Face-Off celebrates a quarter-century of Don't Mess with Texas, the litter prevention campaign by the Texas Department of Transportation to hold down rising litter pickup costs.
Another Don't Mess with Texas celebrity, Lee Ann Womack, is performing during the same show.
Thanks to the support of Texans and others who love the Lone Star State, the Texas Department of Transportation's Don't Mess with Texas litter prevention slogan won Advertising Week's 2006 Walk of Fame contest.
With 22 million Texans and countless Americans who have enjoyed traveling the beautiful Lone Star State, we figure Don't Mess with Texas has just as good a chance as any to be selected as a beloved advertising slogan," said Doris Howdeshell, Travel Division director for the Texas Department of Transportation.
Each artist will also generously lend a cost-free song to the "Don't Mess with Texas Music" compilation CD series.
1 release of the Texas Music Project's first compilation CD, "Don't Mess With Texas Music.
These efforts will be driven through a long-term public awareness campaign entitled "Don't Mess With Texas Music(TM).
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has awarded a four-year contract for its famous "Don't Mess with Texas" litter prevention campaign to Tuerff-Davis EnviroMedia Inc.
That's why Gulf States Toyota is partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation to spread the "Don't Mess with Texas" litter prevention message.
Bindler began production last week in the Austin area on new television spots for the Don't Mess with Texas campaign.
Sonic Corporation and Texas Disposal Systems will team up with the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) Don't Mess with Texas Partner Program to help change Texans' litter behavior and keep Texas highways clean.
The country music icon won the most votes in both categories (favorite TV and radio ads) in the "Vote Don't Mess with Texas" statewide contest that began September 1.
7, 1998--The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) today announced the "Vote Don't Mess with Texas" election has some clear-cut front-runners including Willie Nelson, Confederate Air Force, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Fabulous Thunderbirds and LeAnn Rimes.