an instrument typically consisting of a metal spiral with a sharp point at one end and a transverse handle at the other, used for drawing corks from bottles.


resembling a corkscrew; helical; spiral.

verb (used with or without object)

to move in a spiral or zigzag course.

Origin of corkscrew

First recorded in 1805–15; cork + screw Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for corkscrew

Historical Examples of corkscrew

  • I always carry a corkscrew, and I never forget to kiss the landlady.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • At last I heard him revolving on his axis down the corkscrew staircase.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • Not even a corkscrew imitation of smoke issuing from the roof was forgotten.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • The snow snowed on, and now it fell in large, corkscrew flakes.

  • Sellers was to end with a sort of corkscrew performance on the stage.

British Dictionary definitions for corkscrew



a device for drawing corks from bottles, typically consisting of a pointed metal spiral attached to a handle or screw mechanism
boxing slang a blow that ends with a twist of the fist, esp one intended to cut the opponent
(modifier) resembling a corkscrew in shape


to move or cause to move in a spiral or zigzag course
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for corkscrew

1720, from cork (n.) + screw (n.). Given various figurative or extended senses from c.1815; the verb is attested from 1837.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper