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screw up

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyscrew up
he/she/itscrews up
present participlescrewing up
past tensescrewed up
past participlescrewed up

Related meanings

  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] very informal to make a serious mistake, or to spoil something, especially a situation

    I really screwed up this time, didn't I?

    He made a bad decision that screwed up his entire life.

  2. 2
    [transitive] informal to make someone feel so upset or confused that their whole personality is affected, often permanently

    Divorce doesn't have to screw your children up.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of screw up
  3. 4
    [transitive] to make something into a smaller shape by squeezing or twisting it

    Several pages had been screwed up and tossed in the basket.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of screw up
See also main entry: screw

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