Origin of screwup
Definition for screw up (2 of 2)
- a little salt, sugar, tobacco, etc., carried in a twist of paper.
- Slang. a mean, old, or worn-out horse; a horse from which one can obtain no further service.
- Slang. a friend or employer from whom one can obtain no more money.
- Slang. a miser.
- an act of coitus.
- a person viewed as a sexual partner.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to waste time in foolish or frivolous activity: If you'd stop screwing around we could get this job done.
- Vulgar. to engage in promiscuous sex.
- to do nothing; loaf.
- to leave; go away.
- to ruin through bungling or stupidity: Somehow the engineers screwed up the entire construction project.
- to make a botch of something; blunder: Sorry, I guess I screwed up.
- to make confused, anxious, or neurotic: Losing your job can really screw you up.
Origin of screw
Related formsscrew·a·ble, adjectivescrew·er, nounscrew·less, adjectivescrew·like, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for screw up (1 of 2)
verb (tr, adverb)
British Dictionary definitions for screw up (2 of 2)
- a stroke in which the cue ball recoils or moves backward after striking the object ball, made by striking the cue ball below its centre
- the motion resulting from this stroke
Derived Formsscrewer, nounscrewlike, adjective
Word Origin for screw
Idioms and Phrases with screw up (1 of 2)
Muster or summon up; see pluck up one's courage.
Make a mess of an undertaking; also, make a mistake, as in I really screwed up this report, or She said she was sorry, admitting that she had screwed up. Some authorities believe this usage is a euphemism for fuck up. [Slang; c. 1940]
Injure, damage, as in I screwed up my back lifting all those heavy books. [Slang]
Make neurotic or anxious, as in Her family really screwed her up, but her therapist has helped her a lot. [Slang; mid-1900s]
Idioms and Phrases with screw up (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with screw
- screw around
- screw loose
- screw someone out of
- screw up
- screw up one's courage
- screw you
- have a screw loose
- pluck (screw) up one's courage
- tighten the screws
- turn up the heat (put the screws on)