1. a hand tool for turning a screw, consisting of a handle attached to a long, narrow shank, usually of metal, which tapers and flattens out to a tip that fits into the slotted head of a screw.
  2. a mixed drink made with vodka and orange juice.

Origin of screwdriver

First recorded in 1770–80; screw + driver Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for screwdriver

Contemporary Examples of screwdriver

Historical Examples of screwdriver

  • We found the screwdriver, and Hal says, 'What do you reckon he wanted with that?'

    Tom Sawyer, Detective

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Mamma says things like forgetting the screwdriver are your ex-eccen-tricks.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The screwdriver may, of course, be used on various other kinds of work also.

  • Suppose anybody around the club could dig up a screwdriver for you?

    Torchy and Vee

    Sewell Ford

  • Smith, with the screwdriver, walked in the middle, very solemn and very pale.

    My Friend Smith

    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for screwdriver


  1. a tool used for turning screws, usually having a handle of wood, plastic, etc, and a steel shank with a flattened square-cut tip that fits into a slot in the head of the screw
  2. an alcoholic beverage consisting of orange juice and vodka
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 screwdriver

also screw-driver, "tool for driving screws," 1779, from screw (n.) + driver. Meaning "cocktail made from vodka and orange juice" is recorded from 1956. (Screwed/screwy have had a sense of "drunk" since 19c.; cf. slang tight "drunk").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper