screw around

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screw (one) around

To harass, manipulate, or bother one, especially in a 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.
See also: around, screw

screw around

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. 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. Quit screwing around with the dog and work on your book report already! The employees were screwing around in the office until the boss showed up.
3. rude slang To have a casual sexual relationship with someone. Betsy and I are just screwing around, which is great because I don't want a serious relationship anyway.
4. To joke about something. Often used in the negative to indicate absolute seriousness. Oh, come on, Tina, we're just screwing around. We didn't mean it.
See also: around, screw

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 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.
See also: around, screw

screw around

 
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.
See also: around, screw

screw around

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]
See also: around, screw

screw around

v.
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.
See also: around, screw

screw around

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.
See also: around, screw
References in periodicals archive ?
[Today's movies are] all nudity and people screwing around."
"I've basically told them to quit screwing around with the bits and pieces," says David G.
All we know is that between the drinks, the cigars, the swimming pools and the screwing around, a lot of nice music got written.
"If everyone's driver's license can be on file so that any cop in any part of the country can go to his car and call it up, then they can do this, too." Indeed, it's time to stop screwing around with what could be a life-saving public resource.
Now she fears boyfriend Scott has been screwing around after he allegedly sent mucky texts to a bimbo he met on a yacht.
"I enjoy screwing around with people who think they're tough because they threaten physical violence to people who post pictures on Facebook," he said.
That all of the characters--including the unmarried objects of desire (Guillaume Canet and Eva Mendes)--appear painfully aware of the ramifications of screwing around makes the movie an intellectual experience as much as an emotional one.
The book is allegedly based on a cast of "Hollywood's hump-two-three-four players relentlessly screwing around", Fox News reported.
In Beautiful Losers, Rose and co-director Joshua Leonard's film documenting the artists and scene surrounding Alleged, we're reminded of the wonderful things that can result from a combination of love and innocent screwing around. "When I look back now at all the crazy cool things we have made for no other reason than just because we wanted to see it ..." says Rose.
Not loose where they weren't focused, or screwing around. But there was an air of confidence.
It might mean encouraging the child to spend a few years painting houses or wandering around in order to figure out what his or her interests are, rather than rushing off to a status-charged school (where lots of people are similarly screwing around at $15,000 a year).
Tiger appears to have been screwing around almost before they swept up the crumbs of the wedding cake.
Proclaiming that "fooling around is screwing around without dinner," Shields sounds like the very vaudevillian Roxie has long dreamed of being, lacking only the cigar.