throw a wrench into the works

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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. : to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary

  2. : to perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations

  3. : to exert oneself physically or mentally especially in sustained effort for a purpose or under compulsion or necessity

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

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

  3. : a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity

  1. : suitable or styled for wear while working

  2. : used for work

  3. : involving or engaged in work


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