/ skruː; NAmE / noun , verb
[ C ] a thin pointed piece of metal like a nail with a raised spiral line (called a thread ) along it and a line or cross cut into its head. Screws are turned and pressed into wood, metal, etc. with a screwdriver in order to fasten two things together :
One of the screws is loose.
Now tighten all the screws.
—see also corkscrew
[ C ] an act of turning a screw
[ sing. ] ( taboo , slang ) an act of having sex
[ sing. ] ( taboo , slang ) a partner in sex :
a good screw
[ C ] a propeller on a ship, a boat or an aircraft
[ C ] ( BrE , slang ) a prison officer
- have a screw loose
- put the screws on (sb)
—more at turn noun
[ vn + adv. / prep. ] to fasten one thing to another or make sth tight with a screw or screws :
The bookcase is screwed to the wall.
You need to screw all the parts together.
Now screw down the lid.
to twist sth around in order to fasten it in place :
[ vn + adv. / prep. ]
She screwed the cap back on the jar.
[ vn - adj ]
Screw the bolt tight.
[ v ] to be attached by screwing :
The bulb should just screw into the socket.
The lid simply screws on.
[ vn ] screw sth up (into sth) | screw sth (up) into sth to squeeze sth, especially a piece of paper, into a tight ball :
I screwed up the letter and threw it into the fire.
Screw the foil into a little ball.
—see also screwed-up
[ vn ] screw sb (for sth) ( slang ) to cheat sb, especially by making them pay too much money for sth :
We've been screwed.
How much did they screw you for (= how much did you have to pay) ?
[ v , vn ] ( taboo , slang ) to have sex with sb
- screw him, you, that, etc.
- screw up your courage
—more at head noun
- screw around
- screw sth from / out of sb
- screw up
- screw sb up
- screw sth up
- screw your eyes / face up
late Middle English (as a noun): from Old French escroue female screw, nut, from Latin scrofa , literally sow, later screw. The early sense of the verb was contort (the features), twist around (late 16th cent.).