wrest

verb
\ ˈrest \
wrested; wresting; wrests

Definition of wrest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to pull, force, or move by violent wringing or twisting movements
2 : to gain with difficulty by or as if by force, violence, or determined labor

wrest

noun

Definition of wrest (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action of wresting : wrench
2 archaic : a key or wrench used for turning pins in a stringed instrument (such as a piano)

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Examples of wrest in a Sentence

Verb

He tried to wrest control of the company from his uncle. the boy wrested the book out of his sister's hands

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Monroe has designs on the control of Georgina jeans, a Jordache-like company with incredibly attractive New York real estate holdings that no one has been able to wrest from the family. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Black Monday on Showtime: Maybe Wall Street Isn't Funny Anymore," 21 Jan. 2019 But the best way to wrest the mind from weighty fixations? Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "The Best Beauty Gifts for Your Horoscope-Obsessed Friend by Astrological Sign," 13 Dec. 2018 For fellow Democrats plotting a similar route, from the deepest of blue districts to once-solid Republican redoubts like Lamb's, the power of that message could make or break their drive to wrest back power in Washington and beyond. David Wright, CNN, "It's health care, stupid! Democrats dig in as midterms ramp up," 31 May 2018 During months of intense battle to wrest the city back after three years of militant rule, the trucks were either destroyed by airstrikes or blown up by the radical fighters themselves. Photographs And Text By Ivor Prickett, New York Times, "‘Here Is the Graveyard of ISIS’: In Mosul, the Garbage Men Collect Remains," 6 May 2018 Each time, pushback has come from the wider community, and so far, at least, the result has been industry standards that wrest control from Google's hands. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to," 17 Dec. 2018 Over here in my reality, an aide attempting to wrest a microphone out of the hand of a journalist doing his job is an assault on democracy. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The fake video era of US politics has arrived on Twitter," 9 Nov. 2018 The governor has made the appointments for over 100 years, but lawmakers have tried to wrest that control from Cooper since he was elected in November 2016. Gary D. Robertson, The Seattle Times, "5 ex-North Carolina governors rebuke lawmakers on amendments," 13 Aug. 2018 Republicans wrested control of the Senate from Democrats. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "How potential government shutdown could throw wrench into Brett Kavanaugh confirmation," 31 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His arm was in front of his face, and his wrest deflected the blast and prevented him from ingesting a large amount. Andrew Theen, OregonLive.com, "Idaho boy's cyanide exposure forever links family, Eugene advocate over wildlife devices," 15 Mar. 2018

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

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wrest

Verb

Middle English wrasten, wresten, from Old English wrǣstan; akin to Old Norse reista to bend and probably to Old English wrigian to turn — more at wry

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Statistics for wrest

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wrest

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

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More Definitions for wrest

wrest

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wrest

: to pull (something) away from someone by using violent twisting movements
: to take (something) from someone with much effort

wrest

verb
\ ˈrest \
wrested; wresting

Kids Definition of wrest

1 : to pull away by twisting or wringing I had to wrest my shoe from the dog's mouth.
2 : to obtain only by great and steady effort “For this is the day we are to conquer His Majesty the Scarecrow, and wrest from him the throne.”— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz

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More from Merriam-Webster on wrest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wrest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wrest

Spanish Central: Translation of wrest

Nglish: Translation of wrest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wrest for Arabic Speakers

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