\ 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



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


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

Synonyms for wrench

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Both actresses have enough charisma to wrench the film from Stiles and Thomas. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, "Is Save the Last Dance Worth Rewatching?," 13 Jan. 2021 But Burford’s infusion of money did not wrench the Luna from Mr. Akhmedov’s grip. New York Times, "It’s Mother vs. Son in Britain’s Priciest Divorce War," 5 Jan. 2021 Now, with one vaccine vaccine having gained U.S. clearance and the other close behind, the pandemic validation could wrench open a whole new field of medicine. Robert Langreth, Bloomberg.com, "First Covid Vaccines’ Triumph Raises Hope for Cancer Fight," 13 Dec. 2020 Begin lowering the car until the tire just touches the ground, then tighten the lug nuts with your lug wrench some more. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, "How to Change a Tire, According to Car Pros," 4 Dec. 2020 Graeme MacPherson from GoFastCampers introduced me to Hudson Hall, who used to wrench for racing driver Robby Gordon at the Dakar Rally. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Inside My Custom Toyota Land Cruiser Build," 15 Oct. 2020 In one case, a worker died; in another, an employee had to wrench his ankle away from a sudden sinkhole; and a third had to abandon his truck as a dark stain of oil mushroomed beneath it. ProPublica, "Oil Companies Are Profiting From Illegal Spills. And California Lets Them.," 18 Sep. 2020 Alex Avila seemed to wrench his sore back while catching a popup during Friday’s second game, and he was removed when the inning ended. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "Rookie Brent Rooker has an adventurous first day with Twins," 4 Sep. 2020 Buildings run helter-skelter through space, arranged in multiple, off-kilter perspectives that wrench the rules of artistic geometry. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "Born of Boom and Bust," 28 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The pandemic, and his parents’ apathy toward public health (and frequent trips to Florida), have thrown a serious wrench into that plan. Liana Finck, The New Yorker, "Dear Pepper: Sisterly Love," 27 Dec. 2020 Popovich credited the Rockets for tossing a monkey-wrench into the Spurs’ preseason plans. ExpressNews.com, "Threes are no charm for Spurs in another loss at Houston," 18 Dec. 2020 For one day only, handy shoppers can pick up a discounted impact wrench kit, band saw kit, hammer drill kit, impact driver kit or right angle drill — all for under $250. Chelsea Stone, CNN Underscored, "The best sales to shop today: Fitbit, Macy’s, Apple Pencil and more," 17 Dec. 2020 The crowd continued to pelt officers throwing more frozen items; one person threw a metal wrench. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "9 hours of violence: Peaceful protest on May 30 turned to chaos as police tried to keep up," 3 Dec. 2020 His face has been completely bashed in, seemingly by Silas's wrench that now lies coated in blood beside the body. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Walking Dead: World Beyond," 16 Nov. 2020 This nine-piece kit includes a hammer drill, impact driver, hackzall reciprocating saw, circular saw, grinder, impact wrench, multi-tool, compact blower, and work light, as well as batteries, a charger and additional blades. NBC News, "Home Depot Black Friday 2020: Best Home Depot deals to shop," 9 Nov. 2020 Because Louisville had an off week two weeks ago, postponing the game will not throw a big wrench in the team's schedule. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville football game vs. Virginia postponed due to COVID-19 in the program," 5 Nov. 2020 Some assembly, with a screwdriver and a wrench, is required. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Snow Shovels for Clearing Driveways and Sidewalks," 12 Oct. 2020

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


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


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wrench


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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Time Traveler for wrench

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wrench

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wrench.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrench. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for wrench


How to pronounce wrench (audio)

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



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


\ 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.



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



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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