screw around with

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Andy Sanborn, is a problem in search of a solution to screw around with.
"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.
THE BBC director-general has warned the government not to "screw around with" the BBC ahead of the renewal of the corporation's charter and possible changes to the licence fee.
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.
Don't screw around with history--we have to be careful because we do impact young minds.
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.