Definition of mess about/around with in English:

mess about/around with

phrasal verb

  • 1Interfere with.

    ‘the minister messed around with health, and look at the state we are in’
    • ‘‘My mum used to say, ‘Stop messing around with bits of paper and pencils and go outside and play with the other children’,’ he recalled.’
    • ‘If you want to sell wine as a healthy drink why not put some antioxidants in rather than messing around with the genetic content of grapes?’
    • ‘The man saw someone outside his home in Chelmer Close, Kirby Cross, messing about with his van.’
    • ‘The second burglary happened when a man knocked on the door and claiming some children had been messing around with roadworks outside.’
    • ‘By the time I'd eaten some brunch, messed around with the computer and done a few other things, outside was almost completely dark, it was only 3: 30 p.m.’
    • ‘Once again Tone seems intent on radically messing around with institutions that, until he interfered, used to function reasonably well.’
    try to improve, try to mend, work amateurishly on, fiddle with, play with, play about with, play around with, toy with, trifle with, dally with, dabble with, potter about with, fool about with, fool around with
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Engage in an affair with (someone, especially the partner of another person)
      ‘I found out he was messing around with my best friend’
      • ‘They are not playing for national pride, they don't want to get injured ahead of important tours for their countries, they've got leggy blonde models to mess around with.’
      • ‘The main distinguishing feature of Lovecraft's Mythos is that anyone who messes around with the occult gets eaten by ghouls, driven insane or turned into a fishman.’
      • ‘They were long and calloused at the fingertips from messing around with a guitar.’
      • ‘And, even with you out of the scene and having (to a degree) accepted that that was the way things were going to be, the few girls that I did mess around with just didn't connect with me.’