[ muhng-kee-rench ]
/ ˈmʌŋ kiˌrɛntʃ /

verb (used with object)

to ruin (plans, a schedule, etc.) unavoidably or, sometimes, deliberately: The storm monkey-wrenched our plans for a picnic.

verb (used without object)

to prevent, delay, or sabotage industrialization or development of wilderness areas, especially through vandalism.

OTHER WORDS FROM monkey-wrench

mon·key-wrench·er, noun

Definition for monkey-wrench (2 of 2)

monkey wrench


Also called, especially British, adjustable spanner. a wrench having an adjustable jaw permitting it to grasp nuts or the like of different sizes.
something that interferes with functioning; obstacle: He threw a monkey wrench into our plans.

Origin of monkey wrench

First recorded in 1855–60 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for monkey-wrench

British Dictionary definitions for monkey-wrench

monkey wrench


a wrench with adjustable jaws
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012