wrench

1 of 2

verb

wrenched; wrenching; wrenches

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
4
a
: 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
wrenchingly adverb

wrench

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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)
3

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
As first reported in The News earlier this year, Caban declined to discipline a high-ranking deputy chief who wrenched a female protester’s hair and shoved her face into the ground. Michael Gartland, New York Daily News, 1 July 2024 With Bardella front-and-center, National Rally wrenched power from the center during this month's EU Parliamentary elections. Freddie Clayton, NBC News, 30 June 2024
Noun
Blakey emphasized that even though the Supreme Court threw a wrench into the Madigan case, the judge wants to keep matters on track for its scheduled trial date in October. Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, 9 July 2024 The idea was pushing the guys in the offices to heed the folks wielding the wrenches. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 8 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for wrench 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wrench.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near wrench

Cite this Entry

“Wrench.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrench. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

wrench

1 of 2 verb
1
: to move with a violent twist
2
: to pull, strain, or tighten with violent twisting or force
3
: to injure by a violent twisting or straining
wrenched my knee while playing football
4
: to snatch forcibly : wrest

wrench

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: a violent twisting or pull
b
: a sharp twist or sudden jerk that strains muscles or ligaments
also : the injury caused by this
2
: a tool for holding, twisting, or turning (as nuts and bolts)

Medical Definition

wrench

1 of 2 transitive verb
: to injure or disable by a violent twisting or straining
slipped and wrenched her back

wrench

2 of 2 noun
: a sharp twist or sudden jerk straining muscles or ligaments
also : the resultant injury (as of a joint)

More from Merriam-Webster on wrench

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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