wrench

verb
\ˈrench \
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

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from wrench

Verb

wrenchingly \ˈren-chiŋ-lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for wrench

Synonyms: Verb

twist, wrest, wring

Synonyms: Noun

draw, haul, jerk, pluck, pull, tug, yank

Antonyms: Noun

push

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Instead, wrenching photos and audio of the U.S. government separating migrant children from their parents symbolize the tense relationship between Latinos and the White House in the Trump era. CBS News, "Border chaos inflames GOP split with Latinos," 23 June 2018 But the photo of Emmett’s friendly, open face, which was hung next to the gruesome mess in the casket, put it in gut-wrenching perspective. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "Funeral for Emmett Till, lynched in 1955, unfolds every day in the nation’s capital," 12 July 2018 The Swedes rolled to a 3-0 rout Wednesday, never challenged in the second half, overtaking Mexico to win Group F just four nights after a gut-wrenching last-minute loss to Germany. Kyle Hightower, chicagotribune.com, "Sweden blanks Mexico 3-0, but both head to World Cup knockout round," 27 June 2018 The three actors deliver gut-wrenching performances. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pass Over': Theater Review," 19 June 2018 John Taylor Phillips is wrenching as a man who has become a shadow of his former self. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Born Yesterday' heroine calls her own shots in American Players Theatre remake," 26 June 2018 Norma Fong wrenches herself to the floor and back up again. Claudia Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Jenkins and collaborators immerse the audience in ‘Toward 45’," 18 May 2018 In California, Eric reveled in the beach lifestyle he’d been wrenched from as a child and visited Disneyland. Sam White, GQ, "You Could Use a Style Upgrade," 21 Mar. 2018 The announcement followed weeks of enormous public pressure and heart-wrenching images in the news media over Trump’s family separation policy. Liz Goodwin, BostonGlobe.com, "Government begins returning migrant children to their parents," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then use an adjustable wrench to loosen and unscrew the old showerhead. Daniel Bortz, sacbee, "Four home-improvement jobs you can knock out," 15 June 2018 For Older faucets: use wrench to undo retaining nuts, remove headgear, and reveal old washer. The Editors Of House Beautiful, House Beautiful, "How to Fix a Clogged Sink and Leaky Faucet," 11 Feb. 2015 Meanwhile, an underground collective of art terrorists monkey-wrenches billboards and other mediums of the Man, and the lumpen-telemarketers left behind by Cash rally to unionize. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "Why we should be thankful for ‘Sorry to Bother You’," 11 July 2018 One day, the guy working the gas pipes under a house stuck his head out and asked me for a specific wrench. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Charley Pride on His Mother’s Words That Led to Country Stardom," 12 June 2018 Two years ago, the draft-day wrench was left tackle Laremy Tunsil unexpectedly dropping to Miami after a video surfaced that showed Tunsil smoking from a bong. Chris Perkins, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Dolphins seem likely to select linebacker, defensive tackle and tight end in NFL draft," 22 Apr. 2018 Alabama had a wrench thrown into its quarterback competition early in spring camp when Tua Tagovailoa broke his left index finger, which is his throwing hand. Tim Bielik, cleveland.com, "How Michigan's spring season ended with a closed scrimmage: Buckeye Breakfast," 16 Apr. 2018 Stephen Jolly wildly swung the lug wrench at his three opponents, smashed a public picnic table and later used his fists to pummel one of the men, police and court records allege. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, OregonLive.com, "Vancouver Pokemon Go game leads to real life tire iron attack, police say," 20 Mar. 2018 The global economy continues to hum along despite all the political wrenches thrown into its gears. Ian Bremmer, Time, "The 5 Things to Watch at Davos 2018," 20 Jan. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wrench

Statistics for wrench

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wrench

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

: 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

: something unpleasant that happens and that causes you to feel emotional pain

wrench

verb
\ˈrench \
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 \

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on wrench

What made you want to look up wrench? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!