American English

Definition of screw noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a thin, pointed piece of metal like a nail with a raised spiral line (called athread) along it and a line or cross cut into its head. Screws are turned and pressed into wood, metal, etc. with a screwdriver in order to fasten two things together One of the screws is loose. Now tighten all the screws. Topic CollocationsDecorating and Home Improvementhouses refurbish/renovate a building/a house convert a building/house/room into homes/offices/ apartments/condominiums/condos extend/enlarge a house/building/room/kitchen build an addition (on/to something)/a sunroom/a deck knock down/demolish a house/home/building/wall knock out/down the wall separating two roomsdecorating furnish/paint/repaint a home/house/apartment/room be decorated in bright colors/in a traditional style/with flowers/with paintings paint/plaster the walls/ceiling hang/put up/strip off/remove (the) wallpaper install/replace/remove the bathroom fixtures build/put up shelves lay wooden flooring/timber decking/floor tiles/a carpet/a patio floor put up/hang/take down a picture/painting/poster/curtainhome improvement do carpentry/the plumbing/the wiring (yourself) make home improvements add/install central heating/underfloor heating/insulation install double-glazing/a smoke alarm insulate your house/your home/the walls/the pipes/the tanks/the attic fix/repair a roof/a leak/a pipe/the plumbing/a leaking faucet block/clog (up)/unblock/unclog a pipe/sink/drain make/drill/fill a hole hammer (in)/pull out/remove a nail tighten/loosen/remove a screw saw/cut/treat/stain/varnish/paint wood see also corkscrew
  2. 2[countable] an act of turning a screw
  3. 3[countable] a propeller on a ship, a boat, or an aircraft
  4. Idioms
    have a screw loose
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    to be slightly strange in your behavior
    put the screws on (somebody)
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    to force someone to do something by frightening and threatening them
    a turn of the screw
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    an extra amount of pressure, cruelty, etc. added to a situation that is already difficult to bear or understand
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: screw