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1. To make a mistake. I'm worried that I messed up the last question on the test—it sounds like no one got the same answer as me.
2. To cause one to make a mistake. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "mess" and "up." I got all flustered when the boss walked in during my presentation—it totally messed me up!
3. To create chaos or disorder. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "mess" and "up." I'm sorry that there are toys all over—the kids really messed things up in here.
4. To damage or harm someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "mess" and "up." If you don't regularly get your oil changed, you could really mess up your engine.
5. slang To physically strike someone, usually severely or repeatedly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "mess" and "up." Stay away from that rival gang—those guys could really mess you up.
1. Not functioning or operating properly; damaged or injured. Hey, would you mind having a look at my computer? It's really messed up. My arm is still messed up from the car accident. I can't even lift it above my head.
2. In disorder, confusion, or ruin; mishandled or bungled. The deal got all messed up at the last minute. Sorry, the drawing got a little messed up there at the end.
3. Morally repugnant or objectionable; awful. Your boss fired you just because you didn't compliment his tie? That's messed up. Dude, this is messed up—someone's going to get killed! No way I can be a part of this.
4. Having a confused mental state. A: "I'm all messed up from this new medication my doctor gave me." B: "Yeah, I'll say. You kept dozing off and muttering something about a bee with a rainbow umbrella."
5. Emotionally or psychologically unstable, as due to trauma, anguish, distress, etc. This usage can be considered derogatory. Believe me, you're not the only soldier to come back from the war feeling totally messed up. Have you seen a psychiatrist or anything?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. confused. I'm sort of messed up since my divorce. Most kids are sort of messed up at this age.
2. intoxicated. Somehow I must have got messed up. What caused it, do you think? Everybody at the party was too messed up to drive home.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. mod. confused. I’m sort of messed up since my divorce.
2. mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. Somehow I must have got messed up. What caused it, do you think?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.