mess with

(redirected from monkey with someone or something)

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 somebody

to annoy, worry, or cause problems for someone I'm tired of people messing with me and not telling me the truth.
Usage notes: often used with not: You don't want to mess with this guy.
Related vocabulary: fool with somebody
See also: mess

mess with something

1. to become involved with something dangerous He admitted that he had messed with drugs as a teen. You wouldn't want to mess with a truckload of mail that might be contaminated.
2. to change something in a way that is likely to cause harm Crime really messes with the quality of life in a community. Don't mess with funding for education programs that have a direct impact on student learning.
3. to take apart or fix something complicated esp. in order to learn more about how it works I enjoy messing with computers the way some folks get pleasure from rebuilding old cars.
Related vocabulary: fiddle with something
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

v.
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