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
With a mold to shape their composite, the scientists made a working wrench.Analyze This: Insect shells could help builders on Mars | Carolyn Wilke | November 4, 2020 | Science News For Students
Sometimes producers introduce special “powers” that can throw a wrench into things.How ‘Big Brother’ (barely) redeemed itself after one of the most boring seasons ever | Emily Yahr | October 29, 2020 | Washington Post
The latter point throws a big wrench into proponents of a “herd immunity” approach wherein you simply let enough people get infected and become immune.We don’t know enough about COVID antibodies to count on them | Sy Mukherjee | October 28, 2020 | Fortune
Then, in his second year on the job, Culp got thrown a monkey wrench in the form of the coronavirus.Larry Culp: We’re in the second or third inning of GE’s turnaround | Daniel Bentley | October 26, 2020 | Fortune
Though the pandemic has thrown a wrench in the growth of China’s middle class, it is nonetheless growing, meaning millions more people per year have the means to acquire possessions like cars.This Tiny Electric Car Is Selling Like Hot Cakes in China | Vanessa Bates Ramirez | October 1, 2020 | Singularity Hub
Dickens was a master of heart-wrenching pathos because he felt every pain as he wrote.
Minors are some of the most heart-wrenching cases of police shootings.Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls | Emily Shire | December 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Dern, then, is responsible for carrying the emotional weight of some of the most wrenching scenes in the pair of tearjerkers.Crying With Laura Dern: The Star on Her Oscar-Worthy ‘Wild’ Turn | Kevin Fallon | December 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The idea that this journey is being transformed into a “pay-per-prayer” weekend, as Sardar notes, is heart wrenching and worrying.
And throughout her interview, Maynard stresses the importance of her family during this heart-wrenching time.The Beautiful Newlywed Who Made the Right Change Its Mind on Physician-Assisted Death | Samantha Allen | October 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
"I don't believe in such folly," cried Dorothy angrily, wrenching her hand from the woman's grasp.The World Before Them | Susanna Moodie
Then I felt a sharp wrenching and a great pain in my neck, to which it seemed my departed head had, after all, returned.The Way of a Man | Emerson Hough
He staggered for an instant, and she succeeded, at last, in wrenching open the door.A German Pompadour | Marie Hay
Wrenching himself loose from the curtain, he jumped and landed on Michael's back.Seeing Things at Night | Heywood Broun
"Shot in the hand, I understand," Mayhan went on, wrenching the bag open at length with considerable fuss and feather.The Tigress | Anne Warner
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.