Meaning of SCREW in English

I. ˈskrü noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English skrewe, from Middle French escroe, escroue female screw, nut, from Medieval Latin scrofa, from Latin, sow


a. : a simple machine of the inclined plane type consisting of a spirally grooved solid cylinder and a correspondingly grooved hollow cylinder of equal dimensions in which the applied force acts in a spiral path along the grooves while the resisting force acts along the axis of the cylinder — compare jackscrew

b. : a cylinder with a helical cut groove on the outer surface or a cone with a conical spiral groove used variously (as to fasten, apply pressure, transmit motion, or make adjustments) especially where a large mechanical advantage and irreversible motion are desired ; specifically : a cylindrical fastener that is usually pointed, that has a head with a slot or recess, that is helically or spirally threaded, and that is designed for insertion into material by rotating (as with a screwdriver) — compare archimedes' screw , differential screw , hindley's screw , interrupted screw , left-hand screw thread , machine screw , right-handed screw , wood screw , worm

c. : a hollow cylinder or cone with a spiral groove upon its inner surface into which a male screw may advance and fit when rotated in the proper direction — compare nut

2. : any of various devices consisting wholly or partly of a screw or possessing a worm: as

a. obsolete : gimlet

b. : a wormed tool used for pulling ; specifically : corkscrew

c. : the worm of a corkscrew or gimlet

d. usually screws plural : thumbscrew 2

e. : screw propeller

f. : a threaded device used in bone surgery for fixation of parts (as fragments of fractured bones)



(1) : a form resembling a screw : spiral

stems thin and lightly twisted — the screw being communicated to the surface — Albert Hartshorne

(2) : something having a spiral form

scarcely the screw of his tail to be seen — R.D.Blackmore

(3) : a twisting out of shape : contortion

a kind of screw in her face and carriage, expressive of suppressed emotion — Charles Dickens

b. : a spiral twisting motion : a screwing motion

the barber pole rested its stripes from their daily screw — Herbert Gold

c. : spiral threading or grooving


(1) Britain : spin imparted to a cue ball by screwing it

(2) Britain : a shot made by screwing the cue ball

(3) : a similar spin imparted to the ball in various other games (as ping-pong)

4. : a means of applying painful physical, mental, or moral pressure (as for coercion or extortion)

the bookie turns on the screws for his money — Newsweek

they feel the screw : they dread exposure — Henry James †1916

— usually used in plural


a. : an act of copulation — usually considered vulgar

b. : a partner in sexual intercourse — usually considered vulgar

6. : key

7. : a worn-out, broken-down, or otherwise unsound horse



(1) : a prison guard

(2) : turnkey

(3) : policeman

b. : an extortionate person : a sharp bargainer : skinflint

c. slang : fool

why, the old screw took that for a compliment — Joseph Hergesheimer

d. : cowboy

9. chiefly Britain : a small paper packet wrapped by twisting both ends and often used for small quantities (as of tobacco, salt, pepper) for ready use

10. : screw-ship

11. Britain : salary , pay

12. Britain : look , glance

had a screw at his self in the glass — Richard Llewellyn

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb



(1) : to attach or fasten by means of a screw

screw a lock on a door

(2) : to close and seal shut by means of a screw

screwed the box top tight

(3) : to unite or separate by means of a screw or a twisting motion

screw the two pieces together

(4) : to press tightly in a device (as a vise) operated by a screw

(5) : to operate, tighten, or adjust by means of a screw ; specifically : to tighten or raise the pitch of (a musical string) by turning a screw or key

(6) : to torture by means of a thumbscrew

(7) : to lace very tight

(8) : to cap or uncap by twisting a cover

so clumsy with sleepiness that he could hardly screw open the toothpaste — Clemence Dane

screw the jar tight


(1) : to insert (as a spirally grooved object) into a usually spirally grooved receptacle with a twisting motion

screw one piece of the fishing rod into the other

(2) : to cause to rotate spirally about an axis

the level may be adjusted by screwing the bolt up or down

(3) : to rotate (a receptacle with internal spiral grooves) about a male screw

screw on a nut



(1) : to twist (as the face) into strained or contorted configurations

their tanned faces screwed into painful and unaccustomed lines of concentration — E.A.McCourt

their shoulders screwed up with the cold — Willa Cather

(2) : to partially close or otherwise alter the shape of (an eye) : squint

screwed her eyes tight and tried to read the lettering — Mavis Gallant

screw up one eye into an imaginary monocle — J.P.O'Donnell

(3) : to roll and twist into a shapeless mass : crumple

with disgust he screwed the sheet up and threw it across the hut — R.E.Robinson


(1) : to cause to move in a spiral, twisting, or tortuous manner (as into or through a narrow opening)

capable of rotating … and thus screwing themselves through the water — K.A.Bisset

(2) : to cause (a scrimmage in rugby) to twist round

(3) : to cause (a ball) to swerve ; specifically Britain : to hit (a cue ball) low down and slightly to the side so that it will be deflected in a curve after striking an object ball

c. : to furnish with a spiral groove or ridge : thread

3. : to increase the intensity, quantity, or capability of — usually used with up

the speed screwed up exhilaration to a point almost beyond bearing — P.H.Newby

screw himself up to the talking point — Aldous Huxley

trying to screw up courage to confess — Will Scott


a. obsolete : to root deeply (an idea or habit) by insinuation

b. archaic : to insinuate (oneself) gradually

screwed himself into the partial confidence of the Laird — Sir Walter Scott

5. : to alter the sense of to suit one's purpose

by jurisprudential construction, screwing up misdemeanors into felonies — Jeremy Bentham


a. : to practice extortion upon : oppress or dispossess by unreasonable or extortionate exactions or conditions

quarrelled with his agents and screwed his tenants — W.M.Thackeray

b. : to extract by pressure or threat

landlords were screwing the last penny from their poor tenants — Hugh McVeigh

stayed on for over two months, in order to screw out of the … prime minister a promise — Reader Bullard

c. : to induce to a reduction in price or rent

screwed the landlady down to a shilling — Harry Lauder

d. slang : to deprive of something due : cheat

split up the dirty jobs among the deckhands, so nobody got screwed — Richard Bissell

7. : to copulate with — usually considered vulgar

8. : to enter for burglary by means of a skeleton key

9. slang : to spoil by meddling or incompetence — usually used with up

somebody's screwed things up, we're nowhere near our objective — Infantry Journal

intransitive verb


a. : to rotate or have the ability to rotate like a screw

the nut screws on here

this piece screws into the other

b. : to function as a screw

2. : to turn or move with a twisting or writhing motion

screwing about to catch a glimpse of that little beauty — Geoff Bingham

3. : to cause a ball to swerve

4. : to be parsimonious : scrimp

must screw and save in order to pay off the money — W.M.Thackeray

5. : to move by means of a screw propeller

6. : copulate — usually considered vulgar

7. slang : to leave quickly : hurry away

come on, let's screw out of here — Robert Lowry

III. noun

or scrow ˈskrō

( -s )

Etymology: probably modification of obsolete French escrouelle (now écrouelle )

: an amphipod crustacean — compare sand screw

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.