screw up

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Related to screw-up: screw thread, screw over

screw up

1. verb To make a big mistake or blunder; to mishandle or ruin something. I'm sorry, I really screwed up. Please forgive me! Wow, it looks like they really screwed up this time.
2. verb To ruin, damage, or mishandle something, especially inadvertently. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "screw" and "up." I can't believe you screwed that deal up! I screwed up my computer somehow—could you come take a look at it?
3. verb To damage or confuse someone's emotional or mental state. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "screw" and "up." Living with abusive parents really screwed him up. The divorce screwed me up for a long time.
4. verb To interfere with someone or their ability to do something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "screw" and "up." I have to concentrate while I do this, so please don't talk and screw me up!
5. noun A huge mistake, blunder, or mishandling. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated or spelled as one word. Another screwup like that and you're fired! I don't care whose screw-up it was—just fix it!
6. noun A person who is prone to making big mistakes or blunders; someone who can't get anything right. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated or spelled as one word. The way I see it, if you treat someone like a screwup their entire life, they're going to eventually become one. I can't believe he married such a screw-up like that.
See also: screw, up

screw someone or something up

Inf. to interfere with someone or something; to mess up someone or something. Try again and don't screw it up this time. You really screwed up my brother by not being on time.
See also: screw, up

screw someone up

Inf. to confuse someone mentally. Please don't screw me up again! You screwed up my train of thought.
See also: screw, up

screw something up

to attach something to a higher place by the use of screws. The bracket holding the shelf up has come loose. Will you please screw it up again? Please screw up this loose bracket.
See also: screw, up

screw up

 
1. Inf. to mess up. I hope I don't screw up this time. The waiter screwed up again.
2. Inf. a mess; a blunder; utter confusion. (Usually Screw-up.) This is the chef's screw-up, not mine. One more screw-up like that and you're fired.
See also: screw, up

screwed up

Inf. ruined; messed up. This is a really screwed up schedule. Let's start over again. Your schedule is completely screwed up.
See also: screw, up

screw up

1. Muster or summon up; see pluck up one's courage.
2. Make a mess of an undertaking; also, make a mistake, as in I really screwed up this report, or She said she was sorry, admitting that she had screwed up. Some authorities believe this usage is a euphemism for fuck up. [Slang; c. 1940]
3. Injure, damage, as in I screwed up my back lifting all those heavy books. [Slang]
4. Make neurotic or anxious, as in Her family really screwed her up, but her therapist has helped her a lot. [Slang; mid-1900s]
See also: screw, up

screw up

v. Slang
1. To make a mistake; blunder: I screwed up and delivered the package to the wrong address.
2. To injure, damage, or interfere negatively with something: Lifting those boxes really screwed up my back. I gave them detailed instructions, but they still screwed the project up.
3. To make someone neurotic or mentally disturbed: War can really screw up the survivors. Prison really screwed him up. She was screwed up by her parents' divorce.
4. To twist or deform something: The jester screwed up his face and gave a mocking reply. She screwed her eyes up and tried to read the sign.
5. To muster or summon up something: I screwed up my courage and went out on the stage.
See also: screw, up

screw up

1. in. to mess up. The waiter screwed up again.
2. n. a mess; a blunder; utter confusion. (see also screwed up.) This is the chef’s screw-up, not mine.
See also: screw, up

screwed up

mod. ruined; messed up. This is a really screwed up schedule. Let’s start over again.
See also: screw, up
References in periodicals archive ?
From the dumb but well-intended screw-ups of dad Peter to wife Lois' blissful oblivion, it's everyone's nightmare family come true.
In the relationship game, instead of banking fuel to keep your spaceship from blowing up, you're banking love for your inevitable screw-ups.
Q: It seems much of the media has responded differently to Katrina than they did to earlier screw-ups by the Bush Administration.
But now that you're the big dog in the Golden State, you keep that cyborg eye of yours peeled for any further screw-ups.
The screw-ups outwit both the mob and the venture capitalist through some hilarious maneuvers.
She gets her sister out of awful jams and covers for her screw-ups.
The author relentlessly illustrates the conditions that produce the fatal screw-ups that are so much a part of war, particularly infantry combat.
Bush has been President, we've had two of the biggest intelligence screw-ups in US history.
This incident should serve as a reminder that assumption truly is the mother of all screw-ups.
Is no news really good news, or is the silence just another one of those medical screw-ups that we all have read about in the newspaper?
Perhaps they should bring back legendary screw-ups Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood.
The series of journalistic screw-ups at The New York Times this spring was only the most high-profile ease of reporters and editors run amok.
Invariably, it describes the most egregious and offensive cases of how the federal government, and the FDA, are such screw-ups.
Miller's laundry list of screw-ups spelled opportunity for SAB, which has made a name for itself as the turnaround expert for shaky third world breweries.
But these clowns are getting 15, 18, 23 percent raises and they're screw-ups.