span·​ner | \ ˈspa-nər How to pronounce spanner (audio) \

Definition of spanner

1 chiefly British : wrench
2 : a wrench that has a hole, projection, or hook at one or both ends of the head for engaging with a corresponding device on the object that is to be turned

Illustration of spanner

Illustration of spanner

spanner 2

Examples of spanner in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web News of the Omicron variant, which has an unusually high number of mutations, will certainly throw a spanner in the works for the Biden administration as the President struggles with flagging approval ratings and a pessimistic view of the economy. Julian Zelizer, CNN, 26 Nov. 2021 On Wednesday evening in Doha, Al-Sadd threw a spanner in the works with a blunt statement. Tom Sanderson, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 That may be the first bloc that Scholz hopes to assemble, but significant ideological differences could throw a spanner in the works. Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2021 There's only one spanner in the works -- one bridge near the Fenice, the Ponte Vecia Malvasia, will not have a ramp in this first round of construction. Julia Buckley, CNN, 17 Aug. 2021 However, there is a factor that throws a spanner in the works. David Balaban, Forbes, 11 June 2021 However, the unprecedented surge in cases in the country has likely thrown another spanner in the works by bringing travel to a standstill again. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 15 Apr. 2021 The Brits seem to be chafing at their status as an Oscar precursor, though, and they may be tempted to chuck a spanner in the works just for fun. Nate Jones, Vulture, 26 Mar. 2021 Iran has also proffered ideas of its own that throw a spanner in the diplomatic works. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spanner.' 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 spanner

circa 1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spanner

German, instrument for winding springs, from spannen to stretch; akin to Middle Dutch spannen to stretch — more at span

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Time Traveler for spanner

Time Traveler

The first known use of spanner was circa 1790

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Last Updated

17 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spanner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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