verb (used with object)

to draw or loosen a screw from (a hinge, bracket, etc.).
to unfasten or withdraw by turning, as a screw or lid.
to open (a jar, bottle, etc.) by turning the lid or cover.

verb (used without object)

to permit of being unscrewed.

Origin of unscrew

First recorded in 1595–1605; un-2 + screw
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unscrew

Historical Examples of unscrew

  • It was the work of only a few seconds to unscrew the bells, which he placed on the desk.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Experiment 12.2 Unscrew the bell from a doorbell or a telephone.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • It was the work of but a minute to unscrew the spark plugs from the tops of the cylinders.

  • After a long whispered consultation, they resolved to unscrew the hinges.

  • In silence she began to unscrew it, and he, seeing what she was trying to do, helped her.

    The Flaming Jewel

    Robert W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for unscrew



(tr) to draw or remove a screw from (an object)
(tr) to loosen (a screw, lid, etc) by rotating continuously, usually in an anticlockwise direction
(intr) (esp of an engaged threaded part) to become loosened or separatedthe lid wouldn't unscrew
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