throw a wrench into the works

Definition of throw a wrench into the works

US, informal
:to damage or change (something) in a way that ruins it or prevents it from working properly
  • We were going to renew our lease, but the landlord threw a wrench into the works by increasing the rent.

Word by Word Definitions

throw play
  1. : to propel through the air by a forward motion of the hand and arm

  2. : to propel through the air in any manner

  3. : pitch

  1. : an act of throwing, hurling, or flinging

  2. : an act of throwing dice

  3. : the number thrown with a cast of dice

wrench play
  1. : to move with a violent twist

  2. : to pull or strain at something with violent twisting

  3. : to twist violently

  1. : a violent twisting or a pull with or as if with twisting

  2. : a sharp twist or sudden jerk straining muscles or ligaments

  3. : a distorting or perverting alteration

work play works
  1. : activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something:

  2. : sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result

  3. : activity that a person engages in regularly to earn a livelihood

  1. : used for work

  2. : suitable or styled for wear while working

  3. : involving or engaged in work

  1. : to bring to pass : effect

  2. : to fashion or create a useful or desired product by expending labor or exertion on : forge, shape

  3. : to make or decorate with needlework


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to suppress quietly or indirectly

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