[ skroo ]
/ skru /
a metal fastener having a tapered shank with a helical thread, and topped with a slotted head, driven into wood or the like by rotating, especially by means of a screwdriver.
a threaded cylindrical pin or rod with a head at one end, engaging a threaded hole and used either as a fastener or as a simple machine for applying power, as in a clamp, jack, etc.Compare bolt1(def 3).
British. a tapped or threaded hole.
something having a spiral form.
Usually screws. physical or mental coercion: The terrified debtor soon felt the gangster's screws.
a single turn of a screw.
a twist, turn, or twisting movement.
- 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.
British Informal. salary; wages.
Slang. a prison guard.
- an act of coitus.
- a person viewed as a sexual partner.
verb (used with object)
to fasten, tighten, force, press, stretch tight, etc., by or as if by means of a screw or device operated by a screw or helical threads.
to operate or adjust by a screw, as a press.
to attach with a screw or screws: to screw a bracket to a wall.
to insert, fasten, undo, or work (a screw, bolt, nut, bottle top with a helical thread, etc.) by turning.
to contort as by twisting; distort (often followed by up): Dad screwed his face into a grimace of disgust.
to cause to become sufficiently strong or intense (usually followed by up): I screwed up my courage to ask for a raise.
to coerce or threaten.
to extract or extort.
to force (a seller) to lower a price (often followed by down).
Slang. to cheat or take advantage of (someone).
Slang: Vulgar. to have coitus with.
verb (used without object)
to turn as or like a screw.
to be adapted for being connected, taken apart, opened, or closed by means of a screw or screws or parts with helical threads (usually followed by on, together, or off): This top screws on easily.
to turn or move with a twisting or rotating motion.
to practice extortion.
Slang: Vulgar. to have coitus.
screw around, Slang.
- 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.
screw off, Slang.
- to do nothing; loaf.
- to leave; go away.
screw up, Slang.
- 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.
9 Synonyms For “Screwing Up”We’ve all had moments where we’ve really and truly screwed something up. An epic mistake (OK, maybe not on a historic, global scale like the February 26, 2017 Oscars). But still, we’re human, and mistakes do happen. There are a lot of words to describe things going south in a hurry. We’ve gathered a few here. You’ll notice they’re all very close in definition. Maybe …
have a screw loose, Slang. to be eccentric or neurotic; have crazy ideas: You must have a screw loose to keep so many cats.
have one’s head screwed on (right/straight). head(def 67).
put the screws on, to compel by exerting pressure on; use coercion on; force: They kept putting the screws on him for more money.
Origin of screw
1375–1425; late Middle English scrwe, screw(e) (noun); compare Middle French escro(ue) nut, Middle Dutch schrûve, Middle High German schrûbe screw
Related formsscrew·a·ble, adjectivescrew·er, nounscrew·less, adjectivescrew·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for screwed up
/ (skruː) /
a device used for fastening materials together, consisting of a threaded and usually tapered shank that has a slotted head by which it may be rotated so as to cut its own thread as it bores through the material
Also called: screw-bolt a threaded cylindrical rod that engages with a similarly threaded cylindrical hole; bolt
a thread in a cylindrical hole corresponding with that on the bolt or screw with which it is designed to engage
anything resembling a screw in shape or spiral form
a twisting movement of or resembling that of a screw
Also called: screw-back billiards snooker
- 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
another name for propeller (def. 1)
slang a prison guard
British slang salary, wages, or earnings
British a small amount of salt, tobacco, etc, in a twist of paper
slang a person who is mean with money
slang an old, unsound, or worthless horse
(often plural) slang force or compulsion (esp in the phrase put the screws on)
slang sexual intercourse
have a screw loose informal to be insane
turn the screw or tighten the screw slang to increase the pressure
(tr) to rotate (a screw or bolt) so as to drive it into or draw it out of a material
(tr) to cut a screw thread in (a rod or hole) with a tap or die or on a lathe
to turn or cause to turn in the manner of a screw
(tr) to attach or fasten with a screw or screws
(tr) informal to take advantage of; cheat
(tr often foll by up) to distort or contorthe screwed his face into a scowl
Also: screw back to impart a screw to (a ball)
(tr, often foll by from or out of) to coerce or force out of; extort
slang to have sexual intercourse (with)
(tr) slang to burgle
have one's head screwed on or have one's head screwed on the right way informal to be wise or sensible
See also screw up
Derived Formsscrewer, nounscrewlike, adjective
Word Origin for screw
C15: from French escroe, from Medieval Latin scrōfa screw, from Latin: sow, presumably because the thread of the screw is like the spiral of the sow's tail
The use of this otherwise utilitarian word in a sexual sense, though recorded in an 18th century slang dictionary, does not appear to have really taken off until well into the 20th. Although a classic example of the anatomical metaphor for the sex act seen from the male point of view, it can be used as a transitive verb by women, which suggests that the metaphor is all but dead
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
Idioms and Phrases with screwed up
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)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.