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British English: /mɛs/
American English: /mɛs/

Translation of mess in French:


  • 1 (untidy state) what a mess!
    quelle pagaille!
    to make a mess
    (children, workmen)
    mettre du désordre
    to leave something in a mess
    laisser quelque chose en désordre
    the kitchen is (in) a mess
    la cuisine est en désordre
    to tidy ou clear up the mess
    mettre de l'ordre
    this report is a mess!
    ce rapport est fait n'importe comment!
    my hair is a mess
    je suis complètement décoiffée
    you look a mess! (British English) , you look like a mess! (American English)
  • 2 [figurative] (muddled state) See examples: my life is a mess
    ma vie est un désastre
    the economy/country is in a terrible mess
    l'économie/le pays est dans une situation catastrophique
    to make a mess of the job
    massacrer (informal) le travail
    to let things get into a mess
    laisser les choses aller à vau-l'eau
    how did we get into this mess?
    comment a-t-on fait pour en arriver là?
    you got us into this mess
    c'est toi qui nous as mis dans ce pétrin
    he'll get us out of this mess
    il nous sortira de ce pétrin
    this is a fine mess you've got (British English) ou gotten (American English) us into!
    grâce à toi, nous voilà dans de beaux draps!
  • 3
    (pitiful state) See examples: his face was a mess after the accident
    il avait le visage amoché (informal) après l'accident
    he's a mess (informal) (psychologically)
    il est dans un sale état
    il est nul
  • 4 (excrement)
    the dog made a mess on the lawn
    le chien a fait ses saletés sur la pelouse
  • 5 (stain) See examples: to make a mess of ou on the tablecloth/ carpet
    salir la nappe/moquette
    to make a mess of oneself
    se salir
    (when eating)
  • 7
    (American English) a mess of greens
    une portion de légumes verts

intransitive verb

  • (meddle) See examples: to mess with
    I don't mess with drugs
    je ne touche pas à la drogue
    don't mess with him, he's dangerous
    évite-le, il est dangereux


no messing (informal)!

sans blagues (informal)!

to sell one's birthright for a mess of pottage

vendre son droit d'aînesse pour un plat de lentilles

Phrasal verbs

mess about

(informal) mess around (informal)
1 mess around 1.1 (act the fool) to mess around with
(chemicals, matches)
don't mess around with drugs
ne touche pas à la drogue
1.2 (potter) See examples: to mess around in the garden/with friends
s'amuser dans le jardin/avec des amis
1.3 (sexually) See examples: he messes around
c'est un coureur
to mess around with somebody
coucher avec quelqu'un
2 mess [somebody] around (informal)
faire tourner quelqu'un en bourrique

mess up

1 mess up (American English) 2 mess [something] up, mess up [something] 2.1 (muddle up)
semer la pagaille dans
(get untidy)
mettre du désordre dans
(dirty) (napkin, sheets)
2.2 (do badly)
(exam, work)
2.3 (ruin) you've messed things up for everybody
tu as tout gâché pour tout le monde
I've messed up my chances of promotion
j'ai gâché mes chances d'obtenir une promotion
3 mess [somebody] up
(drugs, alcohol) (person)
faire perdre les pédales (informal) à quelqu'un

Definition of mess in:

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