Definition of mess someone up in US English:

mess someone up

phrasal verb

  • 1Cause someone emotional or psychological problems.

    ‘I was unhappy and really messed up’
    • ‘This movie gave me the great insight that the way you get over an obsession is to shift your focus towards your parents, or the people who messed you up as a child, and try to forgive them.’
    • ‘As even the teen recognizes, it will just mess him up emotionally.’
    • ‘Even with all the rhetoric about mothers and daughters, what the film seems to be saying is that women in your life will mess you up, and you should just take it.’
    • ‘Anyways, we got in really early, which shows you just how badly the traffic messes you up.’
    • ‘You know it messes me up when I sleep even a minute over.’
    • ‘And when you talk to the officials, they think we're actually trying to bark at them.… It just messes you up.’
    • ‘Plus, we were shooting nights and that messed you up completely because your whole day was upside down.’
    • ‘I usually try to think of what's going on right now, not what's happening next, because that kind of messes me up.’
    • ‘Anorexia and Bulimia are eating disorders that can really mess you up, even kill you!’
    • ‘Working nightshifts really messes him up for a couple of days after it.’
    1. 1.1US Inflict violence or injury on someone.
      ‘the wreck messed him up so much that he can't walk’
      • ‘One thing adults have over kids is an awareness of ways to seriously mess someone up and thus end the fight early.’
      • ‘Don't even start with me, because I will mess you up.’
      • ‘My attitude is mess with me, I mess you up, more or less,’ I said smiling proudly.’
      • ‘You don't mess with me or get in my way, else I'll mess you up.’
      • ‘‘I'm gonna mess you up,’ he said to Rock as they squared off in the final sequence.’
      • ‘The fight with that new watchman really messed him up.’