or screw-up

[ skroo-uhp ]
See synonyms for screwup on
  1. a mistake or blunder: The package was delayed through an addressing screwup.

  2. a habitual blunderer.

Origin of screwup

1955–60; Americanism; noun use of verb phrase screw up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use screwup in a sentence

  • Insert a screw in the hole of the stop and adjust it to the desired height by turning the screw up or down.

  • He was half English and had half a right to a monocle, but Molly wished he wouldn't screw up his eye like that.

  • When the nitration is completed, screw up the clamps and so occlude the two pieces of pressure tubing.

  • When the stuffing-box has been filled, place the gland in position and screw up tight.

    Farm Engines and How to Run Them | James H. Stephenson
  • I am now determined to ask her to marry me on the first occasion I can screw up my courage sufficiently.

    Man and Maid | Elinor Glyn

British Dictionary definitions for screw up

screw up

verb(tr, adverb)
  1. to twist out of shape or distort

  2. to summon up or call upon: to screw up one's courage

  1. (also intr) informal to mishandle or make a mess (of)

  2. (often passive) informal to cause to become very anxious, confused, or nervous: he is really screwed up about his exams

  1. slang something mishandled or done badly

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with screwup


Muster or summon up; see pluck up one's courage.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.