screw up

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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 ?
My mother, seventy years after graduating from Vassar in 1925, was temperamentally and physically incapable of complaining of neglect, as she rafted through her flapper dreams and memories, and scarcely aware, I think, of the rare occasions when there was a screwup.
Paul Crusoe is a typical McGuane male: a charming, relentless seducer of women, a restless schemer, a royal screwup as a businessman.
He was a sensitive, 16-year-old screwup, and his first-person story told of a world full of "phonies"--like the old history teacher he visits as he flunks out of another in a series of prep schools:
In reality, Henry Hill was a monumental screwup who was hopelessly addicted to drugs much of his life and frequently behaved erratically.
One of the qualities that makes Bush so comforting may be his very haplessness, the fact that he's as much a screwup as the average bloke, in this insecure age, imagines himself to be.
It's beyond ironic that Thompson jumped ship on the 20th anniversary of Union Carbide's screwup in Bhopal, India, that killed at least 10,000 innocent sleeping civilians.
And so it was for Rather, who compounded his high-profile screwup by hiding imperiously behind the exalted myth of CBS's unassailability, waiting 12 days to apologize and fully disavow the memo, by which time the anchor's reputation had plummeted to new lows and a thousand gleeful bias hunters had long since filled the media echo chamber with shouts of "I told you so
After the big screwup with the flight school letters became public in March, INS commissioner Ziglar reassigned four top INS managers, even though they had nothing to do with causing the mess.
It's going to take a Republican screwup to put them back in.
Yet here he was - the first big screwup of the night.
Because the whole episode is classified, it's impossible for the public to really know whether this was another case of Lamberth going ballistic over a minor bureaucratic snafu or a serious screwup by the Justice Department.
That's the only way the looting of taxpayers to pay for the city and the fire department's screwup will ever end.
Satan held a press conference conceding that "Coulter was a major screwup on my part," and apologized for her existence.
One was a lovable screwup, another Nick's best mate.
And the most bizarre screwup of all came in the eighth, just after Matt Kemp's sacrifice fly gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.