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Screw up   /skru əp/   Listen
Screw up

Make more intense.  Synonyms: heat up, hot up.
Make a mess of, destroy or ruin.  Synonyms: ball up, blow, bobble, bodge, bollix, bollix up, bollocks, bollocks up, botch, botch up, bumble, bungle, flub, fluff, foul up, fuck up, fumble, louse up, mess up, mishandle, muck up, muff, spoil.  "The pianist screwed up the difficult passage in the second movement"
Screw or turn higher.
Twist into a strained configuration.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Screw up" Quotes from Famous Books

... cheerfully recognized. The district that I inspected was certainly, as I say, for the fit. Efficiency in physical essentials was inculcated—and practised—by the landlord-company, whose constant aim seemed to be to screw up higher and higher the self-respect of its tenants. That the landlord-company was not a band of philanthropists, but a capitalistic group in search of dividends, I would readily admit. But that it should find its profit in the business of improving the standard ...
— Your United States - Impressions of a first visit • Arnold Bennett

... efforts that go with happiness will often induce the feelings and emotions associated therewith. To prove the accuracy of this statement, some morning when you are feeling especially gloomy and unpleasant, look into your mirror and go through the process of trying to make yourself smile. Screw up your features in such a manner as to force the required contractions of the facial muscles. If you continue your efforts long enough you will surely be rewarded by a real smile, and with the sense of good cheer that ...
— Vitality Supreme • Bernarr Macfadden

... said. 'I let Sikitola's men draw first blood. They needed it to screw up their courage. Now they are as ...
— Prester John • John Buchan

... much that his daughter Edith took the carving-fork from him and served out the mutton-chops herself. The mother, from the other end of the table, with tears in her eyes, continually asked me if I would not have something or other, and how I could ever screw up my courage to go about with an absolutely ...
— A Bicycle of Cathay • Frank R. Stockton

... her eyes, although she looked at him steadily. He sprang up from his chair and put his hand on her shoulder. "My poor little girl!" he said, "you feel it. Of course you feel it. You've behaved like a heroine, but you've had to screw up your courage. I don't want you to think of all that. That is why I haven't said anything about ...
— The Squire's Daughter - Being the First Book in the Chronicles of the Clintons • Archibald Marshall

... still more exquisite taste when I thought of the Irish stew I had missed when standing behind my imitation wall at Stroehen. It was not until after a thoroughly good scrub and a cold bath that I could screw up enough courage to look at myself in a mirror, and, prepared as I was, the sudden reflection of the wild-eyed, bearded tramp considerably surprised me. A little before lunch, having obtained some dry underclothing, I was sitting on my bed, extracting a selection of barbed wire and splinters ...
— 'Brother Bosch', an Airman's Escape from Germany • Gerald Featherstone Knight

... toll bar and I said: 'Maggie, we'll sit doon on the bank for a while.' So we sat doon, and I was just tryin' to screw up my courage when she pointed to the settin' sun. 'I'd like a dress like that, only bonnier,' she said. Man, dominie, I looked at that sunset wi' its gold and purple . . . and syne I kent that Maggie was nae wife for me. I kent that she ...
— A Dominie in Doubt • A. S. Neill

... of some acceptability and she was easily persuaded to join the choir. A class in Sunday-school was added to her activities, and those who believed the religious instinct to be followed closely by another on a lower plane, began to screw up their eyes and smile when Lou-Jane ...
— The Preacher of Cedar Mountain - A Tale of the Open Country • Ernest Thompson Seton

... above all things," I replied. "I have been longing to ask you about it for some time past, but could not quite screw up my courage." ...
— A Bid for Fortune - or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta • Guy Boothby

... rings, enter two rings on the bottom end of the glass, slip the nut over them, slip two rings on the top part of the glass after having slipped the nut on, and enter the rings in the sockets, then screw up both top and bottom nuts by hand alternately, and when screwed up evenly, open the steam cock a shade to warm the glass, and when it is hot enough, open it more and commence closing the blow-out cock, by tapping ...
— The Stoker's Catechism • W. J. Connor

... was dancing, singing and a cuttin' scrape and the couple felt that the occasion had been one of success. Pelican certainly married into old Bristow's family for he never made any move toward looking for another home, and it wasn't long before Bristow begin to screw up his face. ...
— Shawn of Skarrow • James Tandy Ellis

... awkwardness Tornik glanced at Giovanni, who had returned to the box. The latter began to screw up his mustache as he replied in Tornik's stead. "The Contessa Potensi inherited some very good jewels from her ...
— The Title Market • Emily Post

... Mrs. Spragg wrote more fully than usual, and the unwonted flow of her pen had been occasioned by an event for which she had long yearned. For months she had pined for a sight of her grandson, had tried to screw up her courage to write and ask permission to visit him, and, finally breaking through her sedentary habits, had begun to haunt the neighbourhood of Washington Square, with the result that one afternoon she had had the luck to meet the little boy ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... Walter Cuff, and Jack Thorl, the three apprentices, on their stocking soles; and, having strong and dumpy arms, pinned back his elbows like a flash of lightning, giving the other callants time to jump on his back, and hold him like a vice; while, having got time to draw my breath, and screw up my pluck, I ran forward like a lion, and houghed the whole concern—Tammie Bodkin, the three faithful apprentices, Cursecowl and all, coming to the ...
— The Life of Mansie Wauch - Tailor in Dalkeith, written by himself • David Macbeth Moir

... Uwins's pictures. Very dark, with a quantity of black hair, and on an immense scale. The children were already dancing, as well as the maids. After we came to an end of our dance, which was what they called a Polka-Mazourka, I saw the bride trying to screw up the courage of her fiance to ask me to dance, which after a little hesitation he did. And admirably he danced, as indeed they all did—in excellent time, and with a little more spirit than one sees in a ball-room. In fact, they were ...
— Miscellaneous Papers • Charles Dickens

... a fundamental economic law: Every physical, mental, or spiritual advantage offered to an honest working man or woman increases his economic efficiency. Therefore even the selfish policy of shrewd corporations to-day is to screw up, and not down; while the more philanthropic are beginning to see, in their social power, a luminous opportunity ...
— The Warriors • Lindsay, Anna Robertson Brown

... jam, dovetail, enchase[obs3]; graft, ingraft[obs3], inosculate[obs3]; entwine, intwine[obs3]; interlink, interlace, intertwine, intertwist[obs3], interweave; entangle; twine round, belay; tighten; trice up, screw up. be joined &c.; hang together, hold together; cohere &c. 46. Adj. joined &c. v.; joint; conjoint, conjunct; corporate, compact; hand in hand. firm, fast, close, tight, taut, taught, secure, set, intervolved |; inseparable, indissoluble, insecable[obs3], severable. Adv. jointly ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... to himself: "Lord, but this is a lark! I'll have to take another Scotch to screw up the edge of my nerve. Won't the boys laugh when they hear how I stirred the girls' frizzes! We'll have a little party here when they all get home. It's a ...
— The Man on the Box • Harold MacGrath

... determined to ask her to marry me on the first occasion I can screw up my courage sufficiently. I have decided what I am going to say. I am going to be quite matter of fact—I shan't tell her that I love her even—I feel if I can secure her first I shall have a better chance afterwards. If she thought I loved her, her nature ...
— Man and Maid • Elinor Glyn

... our keys—and telling us that matters would be thoroughly looked into at Caen, said they would give us no trouble. We were of course not sorry at this determination—and the Messrs. D—-and myself getting once more into the cabriolet, (a postboy being secured for the leaders) we began to screw up our spirits and curiosity for a view of the steeples of CAEN. Unluckily the sun had set, and the horizon had become gloomy, when we first discovered the spires of St. Stephen's Abbey—the principal ecclesiastical edifice at Caen. ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... was unkind to have given him the slip as we did, and that he had had "quite a worry" to "come up with" us—but if I imagined he was going to let me get out of range again I was mistaken! You can't think, Mamma, how difficult it was to screw up my courage to tell him I was married—he has such nice brown eyes;—and although his language is more remarkable than anything you ever heard, he is not the least little bit common. At last I blurted it out straight and explained and asked him to forgive me. He looked ...
— Elizabeth Visits America • Elinor Glyn

... writing and all the appearance of his letter so delightfully distracted! How amused we were, your Uncle Pyke and I! How amused, and how we felt for the dear, devoted fellow! Screwing up his courage! How we remembered our own courtship! You should hear your Uncle Pyke tell how he had to screw up his courage to propose to me and how many times it failed him and he fled. Dear, child, you've no idea how ridiculous these poor men are in their love! How timorous! How they suffer! The dear, poor fellows. Your Uncle Pyke wrote him at once a most kind and meaning letter—accepting ...
— This Freedom • A. S. M. Hutchinson

Words linked to "Screw up" :   make a face, fluff, heighten, go wrong, compound, pull a face, bollocks, fail, grimace, miscarry, screwup, screw, intensify, deepen

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