Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

screw up

 - definition
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

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

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    [transitive] to make something into a smaller shape by squeezing or twisting it

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

  2. 3
    [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.

  3. 5
    screw up the courage/nerve to do something to prepare mentally for doing something difficult

    I'm trying to screw up enough nerve to ask her a favour.

See also main entry: screw

pre-roll

a video advertisement that appears immediately before an online video

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

breakfast rave

a rave … that takes place early in the morning and where there is no alcohol or drugs …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog