monkey wrench


: a wrench with one fixed and one adjustable jaw at right angles to a straight handle
: something that disrupts
threw a monkey wrench into the peace negotiations

Illustration of monkey wrench

Illustration of monkey wrench
  • monkey wrench 1

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web No one, on or off the court, has suggested that its members’ voluntary compliance with enacted ethics measures has thrown a monkey wrench into the court’s functioning. Simon Lazarus, The New Republic, 26 Jan. 2023 The only monkey wrench was that Portland had a long emotional game the night before. Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, 12 Dec. 2022 Presidents have long trusted that voters would reward them for strong economic growth, but inflation has thrown a monkey wrench into the already difficult probability of Democrats' retaining control of the House and Senate. Josh Boak, ajc, 5 Nov. 2022 High-tech cars are throwing a monkey wrench in the auto repair business. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 21 Oct. 2022 But a severe outbreak of avian influenza killed millions of hens this year, throwing a monkey wrench into production. Brett Owens, Forbes, 9 Oct. 2022 Construction crews in the Pacific Northwest know how to get the job done in any weather, but some seasonal surprises can throw a monkey wrench into the works. oregonlive, 27 July 2022 This graph shows what happened prior to the big monkey wrench - OPEC's October 1973 U.S. oil embargo. John S. Tobey, Forbes, 4 June 2022 The recent news of rampant inflation may be throwing a monkey wrench into your plans. Winnie Sun, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monkey wrench.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of monkey wrench was circa 1807

Dictionary Entries Near monkey wrench

Cite this Entry

“Monkey wrench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

monkey wrench

: a wrench with one fixed and one adjustable jaw

More from Merriam-Webster on monkey wrench

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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