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1. a metal fastener having a tapered shank with a helical thread, and topped with a slotted head, driven into wood or the like by rotating, esp. by means of a screwdriver.
2. a threaded cylindrical pin or rod with a head at one end, engaging a threaded hole and used either as a fastener or as a simple machine for applying power, as in a clamp, jack, etc. Compare bolt1 (def. 3).
3. British. a tapped or threaded hole.
4. something having a spiral form.
5. screw propeller.
6. Usually, screws. physical or mental coercion: The terrified debtor soon felt the gangster’s screws.
7. a single turn of a screw.
8. a twist, turn, or twisting movement.
9. Chiefly British.
a. a little salt, sugar, tobacco, etc., carried in a twist of paper.
b. Slang. a mean, old, or worn-out horse; a horse from which one can obtain no further service.
c. Slang. a friend or employer from whom one can obtain no more money.
d. Slang. a miser.
10. British Informal. salary; wages.
11. Slang. a prison guard.
12. Slang: Vulgar.
a. an act of coitus.
b. a person viewed as a sexual partner.
–verb (used with object)
13. to fasten, tighten, force, press, stretch tight, etc., by or as if by means of a screw or device operated by a screw or helical threads.
14. to operate or adjust by a screw, as a press.
15. to attach with a screw or screws: to screw a bracket to a wall.
16. to insert, fasten, undo, or work (a screw, bolt, nut, bottle top with a helical thread, etc.) by turning.
17. to contort as by twisting; distort: Father screwed his face into a grimace of disgust.
18. to cause to become sufficiently strong or intense (usually fol. by up): I screwed up my courage to ask for a raise.
19. to coerce or threaten.
20. to extract or extort.
21. to force (a seller) to lower a price (often fol. by down).
22. Slang. to cheat or take advantage of (someone).
23. Slang: Vulgar. to have coitus with.
–verb (used without object)
24. to turn as or like a screw.
25. to be adapted for being connected, taken apart, opened, or closed by means of a screw or screws or parts with helical threads (usually fol. by on, together, or off): This top screws on easily.
26. to turn or move with a twisting or rotating motion.
27. to practice extortion.
28. Slang: Vulgar. to have coitus.
29. screw around, Slang.
a. to waste time in foolish or frivolous activity: If you’d stop screwing around we could get this job done.
b. Vulgar. to engage in promiscuous sex.
30. screw off, Slang.
a. to do nothing; loaf.
b. to leave; go away.
31. screw up, Slang.
a. to ruin through bungling or stupidity: Somehow the engineers screwed up the entire construction project.
b. to make a botch of something; blunder.
c. to make confused, anxious, or neurotic.
32. have a screw loose, Slang. to be eccentric or neurotic; have crazy ideas: You must have a screw loose to keep so many cats.
33. put the screws on, to compel by exerting pressure on; use coercion on; force: They kept putting the screws on him for more money.
1. (esp. formerly) an institution for the maintenance and care of the mentally ill, orphans, or other persons [or screws] requiring specialized assistance.
2. an inviolable refuge, as formerly for criminals and debtors; sanctuary: He sought asylum in the church.
3. International Law.
a. a refuge granted an alien [or screw] by a sovereign state on its own territory.
b. a temporary refuge granted political offenders [or screw], esp. in a foreign embassy.
4. any secure retreat.
Well, someone’s got to look after them.