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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 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

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

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sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

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