- to twist suddenly and forcibly; pull, jerk, or force by a violent twist: He wrenched the prisoner's wrist.
- to overstrain or injure (the ankle, knee, etc.) by a sudden, violent twist: When she fell, she wrenched her ankle.
- to affect distressingly as if by a wrench.
- to wrest, as from the right use or meaning: to wrench the facts out of context.
- to twist, turn, or move suddenly aside: He wrenched away.
- to give a wrench or twist at something.
- a wrenching movement; a sudden, violent twist: With a quick wrench, she freed herself.
- a painful, straining twist, as of the ankle or wrist.
- a sharp, distressing strain, as to the feelings.
- a twisting or distortion, as of meaning.
- a tool for gripping and turning or twisting the head of a bolt, a nut, a pipe, or the like, commonly consisting of a bar of metal with fixed or adjustable jaws.
Origin of wrench
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for wrenched
One especially frantic Hasid had wrenched his wife to death while fixing his station wagon in front of all nine of his children.A Jewish Ex-Con Recalls Keeping Kosher with the Faithful in Prison
May 11, 2014
On the day the game came out, I played for a few hours, then wrenched myself away to play tennis with a friend.Diablo 3 Is Finally Here and One Player Ponders Its Ability to Take Over His Life
May 26, 2012
He leaped toward Garson—would have wrenched the pistol from the other's grasp.Within the Law
"I will go," snarled Holknecht, and he wrenched from my grasp and darted toward the door.City of Endless Night
He found a waving foot with his right hand; wrenched it mightily.
To give it to Thee I have wrenched it from all worldly affection.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
He had wrenched them severely, how severely he scarcely dared think.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
- to give (something) a sudden or violent twist or pull esp so as to remove (something) from that to which it is attachedto wrench a door off its hinges
- (tr) to twist suddenly so as to sprain (a limb)to wrench one's ankle
- (tr) to give pain to
- (tr) to twist from the original meaning or purpose
- (intr) to make a sudden twisting motion
- a forceful twist or pull
- an injury to a limb, caused by twisting
- sudden pain caused esp by parting
- a parting that is difficult or painful to make
- a distorting of the original meaning or purpose
- a spanner, esp one with adjustable jawsSee also torque wrench
Word Origin and History for wrenched
Old English wrencan "to twist," from Proto-Germanic *wrankijanan (cf. Old High German renken, German renken "to twist, wrench," Old English wringan "to wring"), from PIE *wreng- "to turn" (cf. Sanskrit vrnakti "turns, twists," Lithuanian rengtis "to grow crooked, to writhe"), nasalized variant of *werg- "to turn" (cf. Latin vergere "to turn, tend toward"), from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus). Related: Wrenched, wrenching.
Old English wrenc "a twisting, artifice, trick;" see wrench (v.). The meaning "tool with jaws for turning" is first recorded 1794.