mess around

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Related to messing around: messing up

mess around

1. To tinker or fiddle with something. Hey, don't mess around with the thermostat—it needs to stay at 68 degrees. Grandpa's still messing around with that old radio, but I doubt he'll get it to work again.
2. To test or use something in order to learn more about it. I'm messing around with a different platform for my blog, and I can't decide if I like it or not.
3. To engage in aimless recreation or frivolous time-wasting; to fool around. Quit messing around and work on your book report already, Scotty!
4. To tease or play a prank on one, often by trying to get them to believe something that is not true. Come on, stop messing around. There's no such thing as ghosts.
5. To joke about something. Often used in the negative to indicate absolute seriousness. Oh, come on, Tina, we're just messing around. We didn't mean it. You guys, Mom is not messing around. She said she would ground us for a month if she caught us again.
6. To engage in casual sex acts with someone. Betsy and I are just messing around, which is great because I don't want a serious relationship anyway.
See also: around, mess

mess around

 (with something) and mess about (with something); monkey around (with something)
1. to play with or fiddle with something idly and with no good purpose. Don't mess around with the ashtray. You'll break it if you don't stop messing about with it.
2. to experiment with something; to use and learn about something. We had been messing about with some new video techniques when we made our discovery. The people in this lab are messing around with all kinds of polymers.
See also: around, mess

mess around

 and mess about 
1. to waste time; to do something ineffectually. Stop messing around and get busy. I wish you wouldn't mess about so much. You waste a lot of time that way.
2. to play [with someone] sexually. Those two have been messing around. Pete was messing around with Maria during the summer.
See also: around, mess

mess around

v.
1. Slang To waste time: Stop messing around and finish your chores!
2. Slang mess around with To manipulate or work with something without a clear sense of method: I messed around with the TV controls, but the picture still looks too green.
3. Vulgar Slang To engage in casual, often promiscuous sexual activity.
See also: around, mess

mess around

verb
See also: around, mess

mess around mess about

verb
See also: around, mess
References in periodicals archive ?
It was between friends who were messing around in a lesson, which is unusual in our lessons.
Armed response officers have been called out to incidents in which youngsters have been messing around with weapons like BB-guns which look like real firearms.
In times of turmoil, like those we are living in now, the message that messing around with replica guns carries a real danger needs to be driven home.
Witnesses say the shot was fired accidentally when a gang started 'messing around with a gun' outside the AfroCaribbean Cultural Centre in Clarence Street.
* Now, I was messing around with a handheld TV from Casio in the o-furo (bath) the other day up in Sendai (don't ask--you really don't want to know the details) and have decided that portable TVs totally rock.
A COCKTAIL of booze and drugs killed a 31-year-old Dublin drug dealer in front of a pal who thought he was messing around.
She said, ``Customers joke about my chest - most of the time it is not offensive, they are just messing around.''
At the center of all this activity (or, rather, up to the left and down to the right) are Tripplehorn and Hayek as a Hollywood player and her actress lover (the same actress who is messing around with Skarsgard, get it?).
It appears they were messing around on the lines and possibly drinking."
They don't have time to waste messing around in a lunchroom; they've gotta dance.
A LEISURE pool lifeguard who watched a boy drown told a court she thought he was "messing around".
When I think back I just wish I hadn't been messing around.
Speaking at the inquest, his father, Norman Henderson, said his son, from Windsor, had "probably been messing around" before the tragic plunge in April this year.
Burrell revealed that Frances Shand Kydd had accused the princess of "messing around with effing Muslimmen".
Network Rail media relations manager Ben Herbert said youngsters using rail tracks as short cuts, messing around on the rail lines, playing deadly games of "chicken" and putting objects on the tracks were risking their own lives and putting passengers and rail staff in danger.