monkey wrench


Definition of monkey wrench

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

Illustration of monkey wrench

Illustration of monkey wrench

monkey wrench 1

Examples of monkey wrench in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But now discussions were serious about Disney buying Fox, which threw in another monkey wrench. Andrew A. Smith Tribune News Service, Star Tribune, "Long, strange trip to screen for Marvel's 'New Mutants'," 7 Sep. 2020 The Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg threw a monkey wrench into the presidential race with just 46 days to go. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Analysis: Push to replace Justice Ginsburg six weeks before election is both hypocritical and savvy," 19 Sep. 2020 COVID-19 shutdowns threw a monkey wrench into the tax system. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Wait, it's September and you still haven't received your tax refund? Here's why," 18 Sep. 2020 The pandemic threw a monkey wrench into what would have been the 12th season of Salsa on the Square, but the fun dance party returns to the city center for a limited, special engagement Thursday through Saturday to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, "Top 5 things to do in Cincinnati this weekend: Sept. 18-20," 17 Sep. 2020 In the world of actual election machinery, the U.S. has made a little progress, but COVID-19 has thrown a monkey wrench in the system, forcing a massive shift to postal ballots in states that permit this. Douglas W. Jones, The Conversation, "Defending the 2020 election against hacking: 5 questions answered," 14 Sep. 2020 The pandemic threw a monkey wrench into everyone's social life, but for a single person quarantining alone, the lockdown initiated an era of enforced solitude that altered and flattened the rhythm of passing time. Kevyn Burger Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Before the pandemic, a single woman kept loneliness at bay by going out with couples," 21 Aug. 2020 That plan would throw a monkey wrench into the NBA’s summertime calendar, including the draft, free agency and summer league, and could necessitate delaying the start of the 2020-21 campaign. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Much for Spurs, NBA to unravel with season on pause," 12 Mar. 2020 In other words, the Bolton revelations have thrown a monkey wrench into the Senate's proceedings. Joel Mathis, TheWeek, "John Bolton just vindicated Nancy Pelosi," 28 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of monkey wrench

circa 1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of monkey wrench was circa 1807

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monkey wrench.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for monkey wrench

monkey wrench


English Language Learners Definition of monkey wrench

: a wrench that can be adjusted to grip or turn things of different sizes

monkey wrench


Kids Definition of monkey wrench

1 : a wrench with one fixed and one adjustable jaw
2 : something that disrupts The storm threw a monkey wrench into our plans.

More from Merriam-Webster on monkey wrench

Nglish: Translation of monkey wrench for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about monkey wrench

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