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mess up

This page is about the phrasal verb mess up.

Meaning: to do something incorrectly, or to make a mistake

Synonym: muck up (informal), screw up (informal)

For example:

  • mess up sth Joe has messed up the invitations to our product launch. He put the wrong date on them.

  • mess sth up My daughter had her driver's licence test yesterday, but she messed it up so she'll have to do it again.

  • mess up Sarah's been making a lot of mistakes recently. If she messes up again, she might lose her job.

Quick Quiz:

If you're cooking something and you mess it up, it'll probably

a. be delicious

b. make people sick

c. taste a bit strange

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Contributor: Matt Errey