World's premier FREE site for learners + teachers of English

#PrayForBoris ๐Ÿงผ

Phrasal Verbs

mess around

This page is about the phrasal verb mess around


If you're messing around, you're wasting time or behaving in a silly way.


fool around, muck around (British, informal)

For example

  • mess around My kids were messing around with a new computer game instead of doing their homework, so I told them to turn it off.

  • mess around The manager told the workers to stop messing around and get on with their work.

the phrasal verb "mess about" has the same meaning, though it's mostly used in British and Australian English

Quick Quiz

If a student spends a lot of time messing around in class, his teacher will probably be

a. angry with him

b. happy with him

c. pleased with him
a) angry with him b) happy with him c) pleased with him

Phrasal verbs grammar

1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context ebook

Phrasal Verb of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey