Messy vs Mess - What's the difference?

messy | mess |

Messy is a derived term of mess.


As a adjective messy

is (of a place) in a disorderly state; chaotic; disorderly.

As a noun mess is

(obsolete) mass; church service or mess can be a disagreeable mixture or confusion of things; hence, a situation resulting from blundering or from misunderstanding; a disorder.

As a verb mess is

to take meals with a mess.

messy

English

Adjective

(er)
  • In a disorderly state; chaotic; disorderly.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-03, volume=408, issue=8847, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Boundary problems , passage=Economics is a messy discipline: too fluid to be a science, too rigorous to be an art. Perhaps it is fitting that economists’ most-used metric, gross domestic product (GDP), is a tangle too. GDP measures the total value of output in an economic territory.}}
  • (of a person) Prone to causing mess.
  • (of a situation) Difficult or unpleasant to deal with.
  • Synonyms

    (in a disorderly state) untidy, chaotic, disorderly, cluttered

    Antonyms

    * neat * orderly

    Derived terms

    * messily * messiness

    Descendants

    * German: (l)

    mess

    English

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) (m), partly from (etyl) . More at (m); see also (m).

    Noun

    (es)
  • (obsolete) Mass; church service.
  • A quantity of food set on a table at one time; provision of food for a person or party for one meal; also, the food given to an animal at one time.
  • A mess of pottage.
  • * Milton
  • At their savoury dinner set / Of herbs and other country messes .
  • A number of persons who eat together, and for whom food is prepared in common; especially, persons in the military or naval service who eat at the same table.
  • the wardroom mess
  • * 1610 , , IV. iv. 11:
  • But that our feasts / In every mess have folly, and the feeders / Digest it with accustom,
  • A set of four (from the old practice of dividing companies into sets of four at dinner).
  • (Latimer)
  • (US) The milk given by a cow at one milking.
  • Derived terms
    * Eton mess * lose the number of one's mess * mess hall * mess up * Mills Mess

    Verb

  • (label) To take meals with a mess.
  • (label) To belong to a mess.
  • (label) To eat (with others).
  • (label) To supply with a mess.
  • Etymology 2

    Perhaps a corruption of (etyl) , compare (muss), or derived from Etymology 1 "mixed foods, as for animals".

    Noun

    (-)
  • A disagreeable mixture or confusion of things; hence, a situation resulting from blundering or from misunderstanding; a disorder.
  • (label) A large quantity or number.
  • (label) Excrement.
  • Synonyms
    * see also

    Verb

    (es)
  • (label) To make a mess of.
  • (label) To throw into confusion.
  • (label) To interfere.
  • Derived terms
    (terms derived from "mess") * messy * mess around * mess up * mess with

    References

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    Anagrams

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