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A screw, or bolt, is a type of fastener characterized by a helical ridge, known as an external thread or just thread, wrapped around a cylinder. some screw threads are designed to mate with a complementary thread, known as an internal thread, often in the form of a nut or an object that has the internal thread formed into it. other screw threads are designed to cut a helical groove in a softer material as the screw is inserted.