muck about

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muck about (third-person singular simple present mucks about, present participle mucking about, simple past and past participle mucked about)

  1. (informal, intransitive) To do random unplanned work or spend time idly
    Stop mucking about and get on with your work!
  2. (informal, intransitive) To attempt to do something with a piece of equipment without understanding how it works.
    Don't muck about with the video machine, or you might break it.
  3. (informal, intransitive, Britain, Australia) To be playful; full of fun and high spirits; to not treat the situation seriously.
    It was only a joke. We were only mucking about.
    • 1957, Ray Lawler, The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Sydney: Fontana Books, published 1974, page 68:
      The only time I walk out on singin' is when there's muckin' about and youse don't take it serious.