spanner

noun
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 Iran has also proffered ideas of its own that throw a spanner in the diplomatic works. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Biden Faces a Minefield in New Diplomacy with Iran," 4 Jan. 2021 The government had hoped things would be faster still, only for delays at Pfizer to put a spanner in the works. The Economist, "Britain approves AstraZeneca’s covid-19 jab," 30 Dec. 2020 But the Covid-19 pandemic threw a spanner in the works. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Mukesh Ambani’s startup strategy: swoop in at the right time," 17 Nov. 2020 Your passive-aggressive behavior really threw a spanner into the proceedings. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Obnoxious car-switch trick doesn’t go over well with wife, daughter-in-law," 22 Sep. 2020 Your passive-aggressive behavior really threw a spanner into the proceedings. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Grouchy gramps derails airport run," 22 Sep. 2020 Your passive-aggressive behavior really threw a spanner into the proceedings. Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Grouchy gramps derails airport run," 22 Sep. 2020 Your passive-aggressive behavior really threw a spanner into the proceedings. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Obnoxious car-switch trick doesn’t go over well with wife, daughter-in-law," 22 Sep. 2020 Your passive-aggressive behavior really threw a spanner into the proceedings. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Grouchy gramps derails airport run," 22 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for spanner

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spanner.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spanner. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on spanner

Britannica English: Translation of spanner for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spanner

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