screw around with

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

Inf. to fiddle with or mess around with someone or something. Andy screwed around with his clock until he broke it. Look, chum! Don't screw around with me!
See also: around, screw
References in periodicals archive ?
And secondly, screw around with the deal that has already been made because the message is, don't make a deal with the United States, they won't keep their word," he said.
If you can be screwed around with, they're going to screw around with you.
You screw around with it too much and it's all going to fall apart.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) warned the White House "not to screw around with this thing," advice that the White House promptly ignored.
They were 100 per cent right, but for the good of the organization they should have said "Don't screw around with my subordinates, don't look at my boss, I accept responsibility because I hold that position.
Trickster is a tight, fast moving, three-hander that revolves around Roger, a chronically unemployed, alcoholic writer; Mary, his waitress/actress girlfriend; and the Trickster, who strolls into their lives and proceeds to screw around with them.
They have just decided to screw around with the name a bit, in order to confuse us.
Price controls which inspire suppliers to screw around with services, marketing, and packaging to evade rate caps can result in falling subscribership - indicating that consumers consider themselves worse off when "protected.
I'd rather see people screw around with the tax code to redistribute wealth a little bit than screw around with the First Amendment.
is saying, in effect, "Don't screw around with plants"', or - four times - '"You can't get rid of the damn thing"') or by vague metaphor ('this movement is, however, short-circuited when Gynecia confronts the hidden singer').
If they want to screw around with the images of Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon, who am I to quibble?
If they see that the top will not tolerate anything other than equality, they won't screw around with it," he explains.
Screw around with endangered-species habitat on land with a title signed by John Q.
We thought, don't tamper with it, don't screw around with the formula.