make a mess of

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make a mess (out) of (something)

To handle something in a way that causes it to be disordered, damaged, or ruined. I had these books all in order but the kids rifled through them and made a mess of the whole thing. I'm afraid the accounting department made a mess out of these numbers. We'll need to re-tally the entire ledger.
See also: make, mess, of

make a mess of something

Fig. to mess something up; to ruin something. Give it a try, but don't make a mess of it. Jerry made a mess of the kitchen.
See also: make, mess, of

make a ˈmess/ˈhash of something/of doing something

(informal) do something very badly: We tried making some wine, but we made a mess of it (= it did not taste good).I made a complete hash of the whole exam.
See also: hash, make, mess, of, something