wrench

verb
\ ˈrench How to pronounce wrench (audio) \
wrenched; wrenching; wrenches

Definition of wrench

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move with a violent twist also : to undergo twisting
2 : to pull or strain at something with violent twisting

transitive verb

1 : to twist violently
2 : to injure or disable by a violent twisting or straining wrenched her back
3 : change especially : distort, pervert
4a : to pull or tighten by violent twisting or with violence
b : to snatch forcibly : wrest
5 : to cause to suffer mental anguish : rack entry 2

wrench

noun

Definition of wrench (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a violent twisting or a pull with or as if with twisting
b : a sharp twist or sudden jerk straining muscles or ligaments also : the resultant injury (as of a joint)
c : a distorting or perverting alteration
d : acute emotional distress : sudden violent mental change
2 : a hand or power tool for holding, twisting, or turning an object (such as a bolt or nut)

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Other Words from wrench

Verb

wrenchingly \ ˈren-​chiŋ-​lē How to pronounce wrenchingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for wrench

Synonyms: Verb

twist, wrest, wring

Synonyms: Noun

twist, twisting, wrenching, wresting, wringing

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Examples of wrench in a Sentence

Verb

I tried to wrench free from his grip. I tried to wrench myself free from his grip. He wrenched his back when he tried to lift a heavy box. She wrenched the toy from his grasp. The statue was wrenched from its pedestal.

Noun

It was a wrench to say goodbye to all my friends. with a sharp wrench of the hammer I pulled the nail from the board
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The record blends joyful, dance-y pop with wrenching indie ballads, displaying a newfound maturity in the now-24-year-old Nesbitt's songwriting. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Nina Nesbitt Opens Up About Being Dropped from Her Label at 20—And How It Helped Her Find Her Real Voice," 1 Feb. 2019 The five Eagle High School students have filmed hours of heart-wrenching video about critical end-of-life issues and boiled it down to a 10-minute documentary that will premiere at the Sun Valley Film Festival on Saturday. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "You learn you’re dying soon. What to do? A film by Eagle teens, in Sun Valley festival | Idaho Statesman," 14 Mar. 2018 So the identity of what caused Ceres to be wrenched over is still a matter of speculation. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Ceres might have tilted over onto its side," 9 Oct. 2018 That’s the sort of soul-wrenching conflict that memorable movies are made of. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Jon Hamm a dark force in dense geopolitical thriller 'Beirut'," 11 Apr. 2018 Mike White cannot recall a more gut-wrenching ending to a game during his coaching career. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Gators suffer gut-wrenching 72-69 overtime loss to Georgia," 15 Feb. 2018 The news was gut-wrenching, not just to the Los Angeles Angels, but for all of Major League Baseball. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Shohei Ohtani’s elbow injury not only a blow to the Angels, but all of baseball," 8 June 2018 Her heart-wrenching post has over 37,000 shares and counting. Marlisse Cepeda, Woman's Day, "One Mom's Facebook Post Begging Other Parents to Vaccinate Their Kids Is Going Viral," 27 June 2016 So, rest assured there’s plenty of heart-wrenching drama up ahead. Megan Stein, Country Living, "CBS Sparks Outrage Among 'NCIS' Fans After Temporarily Replacing the Show," 23 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then, lay a floor mat down and grab your lug wrench. Zachary Palmer, Popular Mechanics, "How To Change a Flat Tire: A Step-By-Step Guide," 16 Aug. 2018 Once you’re set up to do that with your ramps, your drain bucket and your wrench, and you’ve already got oil running down your sleeve, why not take the extra three minutes and drain the oil, too? Ray Magliozzi, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Friend who claims oil changes are unnecessary is flat-out wrong," 18 May 2018 The real wrench in the dinner is the entertainer, who is at least in part intended to create controversy. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Is This The Most Controversial WHCD Of All Time?," 30 Apr. 2018 This year, the wrench could be an early run on quarterbacks. Chris Perkins, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Dolphins seem likely to select linebacker, defensive tackle and tight end in NFL draft," 22 Apr. 2018 There appear to be several ways that endometriosis can throw a wrench into the process. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "How Does Endometriosis Impact Fertility?," 8 Feb. 2019 All hardware was included, including bolts, brackets and wrench. Gary Garth, USA TODAY, "Gear review: A tent that mounts on top of your car," 25 Apr. 2018 International trade policies and fuel prices are wild cards that could throw a wrench in it all though—possibly driving up prices and driving down the number of flights. Kristen Leigh Painter, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Air Travel Will Change in 2019," 13 Dec. 2018 Philadelphia police are searching for a wrench-wielding, Batman-tee clad man that recently attacked a Wendy’s worker and threatened to break into the fast-food restaurant with the weapon. Fox News, "Philadelphia Wendy’s drive-thru worker attacked by wrench-wielding man in Batman shirt," 29 Aug. 2018

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wrench

Verb

Middle English, from Old English wrencan; akin to Old High German renken to twist and perhaps to Latin vergere to bend, incline

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Statistics for wrench

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wrench

The first known use of wrench was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for wrench

wrench

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wrench

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to twist and pull with a sudden violent motion
: to injure (a part of your body) by making a violent twisting motion
: to take (something) by using force

wrench

noun

English Language Learners Definition of wrench (Entry 2 of 2)

US : a tool consisting of a handle with one end designed to hold, twist, or turn an object (such as a bolt or nut)
: a violent twisting or pulling movement
chiefly British : something unpleasant that happens and that causes you to feel emotional pain

wrench

verb
\ ˈrench How to pronounce wrench (audio) \
wrenched; wrenching

Kids Definition of wrench

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to pull or twist with sudden sharp force He wrenched a branch from the tree.
2 : to injure by a sudden sharp twisting or straining I wrenched my knee.

wrench

noun

Kids Definition of wrench (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a tool used in turning nuts or bolts
2 : a violent twist to one side or out of shape
3 : an injury caused by twisting or straining : sprain
\ ˈrench How to pronounce wrench (audio) \

Medical Definition of wrench

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to injure or disable by a violent twisting or straining slipped and wrenched her back

wrench

noun

Medical Definition of wrench (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sharp twist or sudden jerk straining muscles or ligaments also : the resultant injury (as of a joint)

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More from Merriam-Webster on wrench

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wrench

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wrench

Spanish Central: Translation of wrench

Nglish: Translation of wrench for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wrench for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wrench

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