Definition of put the screws on/to (someone or something)informal
- The government is finally putting the screws to an industry that's been evading environmental laws for years.
: to place in a specified position or relationship : lay
: to move in a specified direction
: to send (something, such as a weapon or missile) into or through something : thrust
: a throw made with an overhand pushing motion
: an option to sell a specified amount of a security (such as a stock) or commodity (such as wheat) at a fixed price at or within a specified time — compare call 3d
: being in place : fixed, set
: some person : somebody
: some indeterminate or unspecified thing
: some indeterminate amount more than a specified number
: a person or thing of consequence
: in some degree : somewhat
used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective
What made you want to look up put the screws on/to (someone or something)? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).