Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A cylindrical rod incised with one or more helical or advancing spiral threads, as a lead screw or worm screw.
  • noun The tapped collar or socket that receives this rod.
  • noun A metal pin with incised threads and a broad slotted head that can be driven as a fastener by turning with a screwdriver, especially.
  • noun A tapered and pointed wood screw.
  • noun A cylindrical and flat-tipped machine screw.
  • noun A device having a helical form, such as a corkscrew.
  • noun A propeller.
  • noun A twist or turn, as of a screw.
  • noun A prison guard.
  • noun The turnkey of a jail.
  • noun Vulgar Slang The act or an instance of having sexual intercourse.
  • noun Salary; wages.
  • noun A small paper packet, as of tobacco.
  • noun An old broken-down horse.
  • noun A stingy or crafty bargainer.
  • intransitive verb To drive or tighten (a screw).
  • intransitive verb To fasten, tighten, or attach by means of a screw or similar fastener.
  • intransitive verb To attach (a tapped or threaded fitting or cap) by twisting into place.
  • intransitive verb To rotate (a part) on a threaded axis.
  • intransitive verb To contort (one's face).
  • intransitive verb To treat (someone) unfairly; exploit or cheat.
  • intransitive verb Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with.
  • intransitive verb To turn or twist.
  • intransitive verb To become attached by means of the threads of a screw.
  • intransitive verb To be capable of such attachment.
  • intransitive verb Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse.
  • idiom (have a screw loose) To behave in an eccentric or mentally deranged manner.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To turn, move, tighten, fasten, press, or make firm by a screw, or by giving a turn to a screw: apply a screw to, for the purpose of turning, moving, tightening, fastening, or pressing: as, to screw up a bracket; to screw a lock on a door; to screw a press.
  • To turn or cause to turn, as if by the application of a screw; twist.
  • To force; especially, to force by the application of pressure similar to that exerted by the advancing action or motion of a screw; squeeze: sometimes with up or out: as, to screw up one's courage.
  • To press hard upon; oppress as by exactions or vexatious restrictions or conditions.
  • To twist; contort; distort; turn so as to distort.
  • To turn so as to serve for tightening, fastening, etc.: as, a nut that screws to the right or to the left.
  • To have or assume a spiral or twisting motion: as, the ball screwed to the left.
  • To move or advance by means of a screw propeller.
  • To require students to work hard, or subject them to strict examination.
  • noun The hole in which a screw (in sense 2) turns.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English skrewe, from Old French escrove, female screw, nut, perhaps from Medieval Latin scrōfa, from Latin, sow; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English screw, scrue ("screw"); apparently, despite the difference in meaning, from Old French escroue ("nut, cylindrical socket, screwhole"), of uncertain origin. There is also the Old French escruve ("screw"), from Old Dutch *scrūva ("screw"; whence Middle Dutch schruyve ("screw")), which probably influenced or conflated with the aforementioned resulting in the Middle English word.

Examples

  • Bureau chief Small chided me for using the word screw on the air, which had elicited complaints from the Bible Belt.

    Staying Tuned

  • Bureau chief Small chided me for using the word screw on the air, which had elicited complaints from the Bible Belt.

    Staying Tuned

  • Bureau chief Small chided me for using the word screw on the air, which had elicited complaints from the Bible Belt.

    Staying Tuned

  • BTW, for those of you who have noticed that I use the term screw up often when discussing Obama's policies, if you look at election history the incumbent party only loses when the voters perceive they have screwed up.

    PrairiePundit

  • The fixing of the screw is the end result of intelligent guidance coupled with the use of the appropriate enabling tools.

    Are Stereochemical Explanations Causally Sufficient?

  • One dramatic consequence of this steady tightening of the screw is the increasing difficulties encountered by Iran Air, the state airline, in refuelling its planes in Europe.

    Dread juggernaut of conflict with Iran is drawing closer

  • I shouldn't say police scandal, because -- we don't believe the government of Germany is culpable for what we call a screw-up.

    The Fall of Pan Am 103: Inside the Lockerbie Investigation

  • Based near Bordeaux, WIT is a recently founded firm that packages wine in screw-cap glass tubes containing 4, 5, 6 or 10 centiliters of wine to be sent out as gifts, samples or as "the business card you can drink."

    It's Lights, Camera, Strike in France

  • So if you magnetize the screw from a meat grinder so the magnetic flux is denser at the top than it is at the bottom, the ferrofluid will climb the screw like staircase.

    Boing Boing

  • Make sure the length of the screw is just enough to engage the BB shell but does not protrude up like a snorkel, keeping the water from draining out.

    Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: Peeling AquaSeal and Campy goes electric

Comments

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  • stainless steeled

    May 2, 2008