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
screwup 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 upone'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.
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.
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