screw around with someone or something

screw around with (someone or something)

1. To play or tinker with something, often in an aimless manner. Hey, don't screw around with the thermostat—it needs to stay at 68 degrees. Let me screw around with the settings and see if I can get the video to play. Grandpa's still screwing around with that old radio, but I doubt he'll get it to work again.
2. To engage in aimless recreation or frivolous time-wasting with someone or something. Quit screwing around with the dog and work on your book report already!
3. rude slang To have a casual sexual relationship with someone. I can't believe you're still screwing around with Betsy. Why don't you guys try actually dating?
See also: around, screw

screw around with someone or something

in. to toy with, fiddle with, or play around with someone or something. Andy screwed around with his clock until he broke it.