screw up

screw up

  1. (transitive) To tighten or secure with screws.
  2. (transitive) To raise (rent, fees, etc.) to extortionate levels.
  3. (transitive) To raise or summon up.
    trying to screw up enough courage to ask her out
  4. (transitive) To twist into a contorted state.
    The baby screwed up his face and began to bawl.
  5. (transitive, dated) To squint.
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 8
      As they were finishing breakfast came the postman with a letter from Derby. Mrs. Morel screwed up her eyes to look at the address.
    • 1919, Richard Aldington, A Village
      [...] Hands deep in pockets, head aslant,
      And eyes screwed up against the light [...]
  6. (transitive, colloquial) To make a mess of; to ruin.
    • 2015, Ania Ahlborn, Within These Walls, Simon and Schuster (ISBN 9781476783796), page 147 ↗:
      “Why shouldn't it be my fault, right? I screwed up my kid. I screwed up my marriage. I screwed up my fucking life. We don't need to beat around the bush.” He smirked, shook his head.
  7. (intransitive, colloquial) To blunder; to make a mistake.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:make a mistake
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