monkey wrench

noun
Updated on: 19 Apr 2018

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

Recent Examples of monkey wrench from the Web

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.

Illustration of monkey wrench

illustration of monkey wrench

First Known Use of monkey wrench

circa 1807

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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MONKEY WRENCH Defined for English Language Learners

monkey wrench

Definition of monkey wrench for English Language Learners

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


MONKEY WRENCH Defined for Kids

monkey wrench

noun

Definition of monkey wrench for Students

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


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to treat with excessive attention

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