Definition of turn (or tighten) the screw (or screws) in English:

turn (or tighten) the screw (or screws)


  • Exert strong pressure on someone.

    ‘the White House attempted to influence the vote by tightening the international screws on Managua’
    ‘Redcar's forwards turned the screw in the second half and two tries sealed the win’
    • ‘Their aim was to tighten the economic screws and step up military provocations against in order to precipitate complete capitulation.’
    • ‘Kiltegan were still in there, if only with an outside chance as the second half got underway but Castletown lost no time in turning the screws.’
    • ‘Governments could have chosen to ease the pressure, but successive Labor and Liberal governments instead turned the screws.’
    • ‘But in the long term, there's an inevitable logic to the screws being tightened.’
    • ‘It seems now the screws have been turned on the web portal.’
    • ‘With his assassination, the screw was turned once more.’
    • ‘Unbanned and unbowed she may have been, but promoters now started to turn the financial screw on Jones.’
    • ‘It was when news finally became a profit center that management tightened the financial screws on the correspondents.’
    • ‘With affluent urbanites pushing prices up, and second-homeowners turning the screw, how can young people ever afford houses of their own?’
    • ‘Unless they want no leverage, which is what they have now in the middle of a fiscal year, they will wait until May or so to start turning the real screws.’