verb \ˈrench\

: to twist and pull with a sudden violent motion

: to injure (a part of your body) by making a violent twisting motion

: to take (something) by using force

Full Definition of WRENCH

intransitive verb
:  to move with a violent twist; also :  to undergo twisting
:  to pull or strain at something with violent twisting
transitive verb
:  to twist violently
:  to injure or disable by a violent twisting or straining <wrenched her back>
:  change; especially :  distort, pervert
a :  to pull or tighten by violent twisting or with violence
b :  to snatch forcibly :  wrest
:  to cause to suffer mental anguish :  rack
wrench·ing·ly \ˈren-chiŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of WRENCH

  1. I tried to wrench free from his grip.
  2. I tried to wrench myself free from his grip.
  3. He wrenched his back when he tried to lift a heavy box.
  4. She wrenched the toy from his grasp.
  5. The statue was wrenched from its pedestal.

Origin of WRENCH

Middle English, from Old English wrencan; akin to Old High German renken to twist and perhaps to Latin vergere to bend, incline
First Known Use: before 12th century



: a tool consisting of a handle with one end designed to hold, twist, or turn an object (such as a bolt or nut)

: a violent twisting or pulling movement

: something unpleasant that happens and that causes you to feel emotional pain

Full Definition of WRENCH

a :  a violent twisting or a pull with or as if with twisting
b :  a sharp twist or sudden jerk straining muscles or ligaments; also :  the resultant injury (as of a joint)
c :  a distorting or perverting alteration
d :  acute emotional distress :  sudden violent mental change
:  a hand or power tool for holding, twisting, or turning an object (as a bolt or nut)

Examples of WRENCH

  1. It was a wrench to say goodbye to all my friends.
  2. <with a sharp wrench of the hammer I pulled the nail from the board>

First Known Use of WRENCH


Related to WRENCH

Other Hardware Terms

adze, auger, awl, chock, ferrule, punch, tang


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Tool, usually operated by hand, for tightening bolts and nuts. A wrench basically consists of a lever with a notch at one or both ends for gripping the bolt or nut so that it can be twisted by a pull at right angles to the axes of the lever and the bolt or nut. Open-end wrenches have ends with straight-sided slots that fit over the part being tightened; box-end wrenches have ends that enclose the nut and have six, eight, 12, or 16 points inside the head. A socket wrench is essentially a short pipe with a square or hexagonal hole and either a permanent or a removable handle.

Variants of WRENCH

wrench or spanner


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