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.
- wrencher, noun
- wrench·ing·ly, adverb
- outwrench, verb (used with object)
- un·wrenched, adjective
- ranch, wrench
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use wrench in a sentence
Still, remdesivir is complicated to make and supplies are limited, so researchers are testing other drugs that might also throw wrenches into the coronavirus’s replication machinery.New treatments aim to treat COVID-19 early, before it gets serious | Tina Hesman Saey | August 24, 2020 | Science News
With a wrench thrown into traditional voting procedures because of the coronavirus pandemic, partisans on both sides of the aisle are already tossing around the possibility of a messy election—and perhaps one where one side contests the results.Here’s what could happen to stock markets if the Trump-Biden election results are contested | Anne Sraders | August 18, 2020 | Fortune
However, a wrench in the plan would be TikTok’s ad-supported business.‘They got the memo’: Quibi changes tone, tact after failed debut | Tim Peterson | August 12, 2020 | Digiday
Though it may not seem like it right now—Covid-19 has thrown a big wrench in all kinds of statistics regarding both the present and the future—human well-being has been on a steady upward trajectory for the past couple decades.This Century Will See Massive Shifts in the Global Population, Economy, and Power Structure | Vanessa Bates Ramirez | July 16, 2020 | Singularity Hub
To tune a piano, Mitchell uses a wrench to turn metal tuning pins attached to the strings.
Hillary Clinton, he argues, throws a wrench into the system.
Presently he dropped his hammer, and fussed about for a moment with a tiny wrench.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show | Robert W. Chambers | February 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Now the government of President François Hollande is throwing a wrench into the American rush toward peace with Iran.Why France Is to Blame for Blocking the Iran Nuclear Agreement | Christopher Dickey | November 10, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Factories were hiring anyone who could breathe and turn a wrench.The Federal Government Should Hire the Long-Term Unemployed | Megan McArdle | March 8, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
And you know what could really throw a monkey wrench into the whole effort?
Here the Dimbula shot down a hollow, lying almost on her side—righting at the bottom with a wrench and a spasm.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling
It may be that, having made up my mind before leaving England, I accomplished a final wrench and adjustment.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
I fancy it was pretty well turned, and that made the wrench during the small hours the more severe.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
Let them not seek to wrench the affections from the channel in which they flowed, when fresh from their source.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness | Florence Hartley
Presently the cords were tightened, by means of a wrench, without the pressure causing much pain to the young Reformer.Catherine de' Medici | Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for wrench
to give (something) a sudden or violent twist or pull esp so as to remove (something) from that to which it is attached: to 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 jaws: See also torque wrench
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with wrench
see throw a monkey wrench.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.