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screw (one) around
To harass, manipulate, or bother someone, especially in an deceptive or frivolous manner. He's been screwing me around ever since we started going out—I can't tell if he really wants to be with me. The phone company has been screwing us around with all sorts of extra charges and fees we didn't sign up for. He's been aiming for a promotion for years, but upper management just keeps screwing him around.
1. To behave foolishly; to engage in frivolous activities; to idly waste time. The employees were screwing around in the office until the boss showed up. Quit screwing around and pay attention in class!
2. slang To engage in promiscuous sexual activity. He's been screwing around a lot since he broke up with his girlfriend.
screw around with (something)
1. To fiddle, fool around, or waste time with something. Hey, don't screw around with the thermostat—it needs to stay at 65 degrees. Grandpa's still screwing around with that old radio, but I doubt he'll get it to work again.
2. To test or use something in order to learn more about it. I'm screwing around with a few different formats for my blog, and I can't decide which one I like. Let me screw around with the settings and see if I can get the video to play.
screw someone around
Inf. to harass or bother someone. Don't screw me around, man! I bite back! Max got tired of being screwed around by Lefty.
1. Inf. to mess around; to waste time. Stop screwing around and get to work! I'm not screwing around, I'm thinking.
2. Inf. to play sexually; to indulge in sexual intercourse. A few couples were screwing around at the party. They say that Ted and Alice are screwing around a lot.
1. Fool around aimlessly, accomplishing nothing, as in If you boys would stop screwing around we'd have the fence painted in an hour. It is also put as screw around with, as in Stop screwing around with the new camera. The idiom probably derives from screw in the sense of "turn" or "twist." [Slang; second half of 1900s]
2. Be sexually promiscuous, as in He's been screwing around behind her back for years. [ Vulgar slang; first half of 1900s]
1. Slang To engage in frivolous activity: I spent the day screwing around watching TV. We spent the evening screwing around at the pool hall. Stop screwing around and get to work!
2. Slang screw around with To manipulate or work with something without a clear sense of method: Who's been screwing around with my computer?—It's not working properly.
3. Vulgar Slang To be sexually unfaithful.
1. to engage in copulation. She wants to talk about their relationship and he only wants to screw around.
2. in. to waste time. John’s always screwing around and never does anything on time.