Meaning of screw up in English:

screw up

Translate screw up into Spanish

phrasal verb

  • 1screw something up, screw up somethingCrush a piece of paper or fabric into a tight mass.

    ‘he screwed the note up and threw it away’
    • ‘His eyes flickered, and he screwed the paper up in his fist.’
    • ‘He turns the radio off and screws the paper up in a ball and swears that the dictator had the right idea after all.’
    • ‘Once you do that you can take your ballot paper and screw it up and throw it away if you want.’
    • ‘I want to write my faults out on a sheet of paper; screw it up and throw it in the trash.’
    • ‘I'd announce to a sceptical world, screwing up another packet of fags before chucking it - and my latest disposable lighter - into the outside bin.’
    • ‘She was curled up in a ball and was surrounded a by a pile of screwed up tissues.’
    1. 1.1screw something up, screw up somethingTense the muscles of one's face or around one's eyes, typically so as to register an emotion or because of bright light.
      ‘Christina screwed up her face in distaste’
      • ‘Willie screwed up his eyes and peered upwards’
      • ‘She looks down, screws up her face and peers at me.’
      • ‘Margaret listens quietly to our opinions, then screws up her face, deep in thought.’
      • ‘Squint your eyes, screw up your face and study the glossy frames and you'll find them fascinating.’
      • ‘His eyes were screwed tight as he hissed in pain.’
      • ‘He grasped the stems sweatily, screwing his eyes shut and praying hard.’
      • ‘I just screwed up my face and waited till he pulled it out.’
      • ‘She just screwed up her face like she was about to cry and then changed the subject.’
      • ‘Chloe screwed up her nose and crossed her arms over her purple PJ's.’
      • ‘Lana screwed up her nose and made a face, ‘Not for a second!’’
      • ‘A torch was flicked on and Tam winced in the light, screwing up his eyes.’
      wrinkle, wrinkle up, pucker, crumple, crease, furrow, contort, distort, twist, purse
    2. 1.2screw up(of the muscles of one's face or around one's eyes) contract, typically so as to express emotion or because of bright light.
      ‘his freckled face screwed up with childish annoyance’
      • ‘They sat in the shade, their weather beaten faces screwed up against the harsh light.’
      • ‘He started when he looked down to see a red, puckered face, screwed up in a scowl while staring up at him.’
      • ‘Mr Black's wrinkly face screwed up to such a degree that he looked like a sun dried tomato.’
      • ‘Before I pretend to pity him, Christopher Bailey's boyish face is already screwing up into a devilishly conspiratorial smirk.’
  • 2screw something up, screw up something informal Cause something to fail or go wrong.

    • ‘why are you trying to screw up your life?’
    • ‘the best calculations can be screwed up by currency movements’
    • ‘Have I done something wrong, did I screw something up?’
    • ‘If you do the steps wrong, you screw it up.’
    • ‘If he thinks I'm doing something wrong or if I break something or screw something up he gives me extra cleaning duties to do at closing time.’
    • ‘Predictably, it screwed everything up not only for my Broadband account email, but 3 other email accounts too - leaving me able to receive mail but unable to send anything.’
    • ‘He's a good friend of mine, and I don't want to screw that up too much.’
    • ‘Clearly, Sherman has rolled the dice, but he knows Glenn can't screw this one up if he wants to play football again.’
    • ‘Well, if only one television program screws this up, it is a reflection on the stupidity and incompetence of its producers and hosts.’
    • ‘I felt as though I was useless, I just screwed everything up.’
    • ‘I sat down and read the orders a couple times to be sure I wouldn't screw anything up.’
    • ‘I screwed up my life, and with it I screwed up yours too!’
    wreck, ruin, destroy, devastate, wreak havoc on, reduce to nothing, damage, spoil, mar, injure, blast, blight, smash, shatter, dash, torpedo, scotch, make a mess of, mess up
    1. 2.1screw upCompletely mismanage or mishandle a situation.
      ‘I'm sorry, Susan, I screwed up’
      • ‘In any other situation, if an employee screws up, they get fired.’
      • ‘For most of my life, I've been in situations where people expect me to screw up.’
      • ‘What I love is when the accountant screws up on a simple piece of multiplication.’
      • ‘What am I going to tell my daughter when she screws up?’
      • ‘The editors are the managers, so if the paper systematically screws up, it's down to them, not the reporters.’
      • ‘Hey, an occasional friendship flub is no biggie - everybody screws up.’
      • ‘If Clark screws up, the establishment is going to look pretty silly.’
      • ‘He's called me on the phone, or pulled me aside when he thought I was screwing up.’
      • ‘I'm thinking a majority of us would rather be governed by a real human than a bunch of people who never admit to actually screwing up.’
      • ‘And I know I don't hesitate to call him out when I think he's screwing up.’
  • 3screw someone up, screw up someone informal Cause someone to be emotionally or mentally disturbed.

    • ‘this job can really screw you up’
    • ‘‘Our first job is to not screw him up,’ McLaughlin said with a laugh.’
    • ‘Nobody has a perfect life, and, just think, if you are screwed up in a sufficiently imaginative way, your children can always use it as creative ballast.’
    • ‘The rush of emotions and the intensity of being whooshed back to the time in my life when we were together screwed me up for weeks.’
    • ‘I noticed that something Fred said really screwed you up, do you want to talk about it?’
    • ‘Virtually everything about the way staff treated me in the hospital screwed me up.’
    • ‘I understand that having both of your parents die on you when you're only five years old could completely screw you up for the rest of your life.’
    • ‘That kind of cognitive dissonance will really screw you up, and it will manifest in many more ways than just loss of attraction.’
    • ‘Pretending to be his girlfriend, will probably only screw me up in the head even more.’
    • ‘I do now feel a degree of sympathy for the guy; I now know that he isn't just terminally sad, but he's also fairly screwed up.’
    • ‘It is an overly idealized institution that royally screws up more people than it benefits.’
  • 4screw something up, screw up somethingSummon up one's courage.

    ‘now Stephen had to screw up his courage and confess’
    • ‘The scene in which the host and hostess of the tavern screw their courage up before murdering Thomas Cole has been seen as an analogue to Macbeth.’
    • ‘I screwed up my courage to ask him what was uppermost in my mind.’
    • ‘I've been trying to screw up the courage to call you ever since.’
    • ‘The ranger screwed up his courage and decided to look in on Father Goodwin.’
    • ‘It is worth screwing up your courage and following them, if only for the flowers.’
    • ‘Kelly himself wasn't an agonised man screwing up his courage to approach the one journalist he knew and trusted.’
    • ‘I was interested, I told the salesman, screwing up my courage - but I'd already seen it cheaper somewhere else.’