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turn (or tighten) the screw (or screws)

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

informal Exert strong pressure on someone.
Example sentences
  • Governments could have chosen to ease the pressure, but successive Labor and Liberal governments instead turned the screws.
  • 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.
  • With affluent urbanites pushing prices up, and second-homeowners turning the screw, how can young people ever afford houses of their own?
See parent entry: screw
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