screw·​up | \ ˈskrü-ˌəp How to pronounce screwup (audio) \

Definition of screwup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who screws up
2 : botch, blunder

screw up

screwed up; screwing up; screws up

Definition of screw up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to tighten, fasten, or lock by or as if by a screw
2a : bungle, botch
b : to cause to act or function in a crazy or confused way : confound, disturb

intransitive verb

: to botch an activity or undertaking

Examples of screwup in a Sentence

Noun That was a major screwup. She's a screwup who can't hold down a job. Verb we all screw up from time to time, so don't sweat it you've totally screwed up the spreadsheet
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Case Keenum serving as the Browns’ starting quarterback this season, or anything that once again punches fans in the gut or sabotages what should be a winning season, then this goes down as a colossal franchise screwup. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, 18 Mar. 2022 Back in Paris, Julien capitalizes on Emily’s screwup and absence to get into Pierre’s good graces. Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, 22 Dec. 2021 Another great American screwup is reaching its conclusion. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 10 Sep. 2021 Ji-Yoon meets with poor Lila, who is getting hounded by reporters about Bill’s screwup, which endangers her own academic future. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 20 Aug. 2021 Johnny, someone to root against in The Karate Kid, is a screwup in Cobra Kai, but the show takes care to reveal his gentler side and desire to become better. Cydney Lee, Vulture, 5 Aug. 2021 The Board of Elections’s screwup opened the door to more accusations and suspicions—thankfully, to everyone’s benefit, the candidates, including Adams, kept their cool. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 2 July 2021 But the screwup fits nicely into Trump's conspiracy theory mindset, which feeds on mistakes and spreads mistrust in the election system like a brain-eating fungus. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 30 June 2021 That 'scientific screwup' was recently covered in Wired magazine. Jv Chamary, Forbes, 29 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On occasion, companies just screw up a program to a point where no patch can fix it. PCMAG, 4 May 2022 Christie’s story, one of her finest, is hard to screw up, even when Branagh and his returning screenwriter, Michael Green, seem bent on proving otherwise. Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2022 The goal then isn’t just to give these characters more screen time (though that’s key), but to give them the space to screw up, sneak out and steal a boyfriend or two, just like their White counterparts. Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2021 Never seen a team screw up PATs quite so thoroughly. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 6 Dec. 2021 Breeders’ Cup held at Del Mar with a massive screw up on the winner of a 2-year-old race resulting in a cascade of boos from fans. Los Angeles Times, 7 Dec. 2021 Butt roasts are almost impossible to screw up because they are loaded with so much fat that the finished product is guaranteed to be moist and tender. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, 6 Dec. 2021 What should well-off parents know about how money can screw up kids? David Marchese, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2021 Nothing will screw up a friendship like a botched love triangle. Globe Staff,, 18 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'screwup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of screwup


1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1625, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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The first known use of screwup was in 1625

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Dictionary Entries Near screwup

screw tree


screw up

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Statistics for screwup

Last Updated

24 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Screwup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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