wrest

1 of 2

verb

wrested; wresting; wrests

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

2 of 2

noun

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

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
These drivers were the backbone of economic growth in the U.S., but needed to organize to wrest their fair share from corporations − a task the union still maintains today. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Apr. 2024 The GOP is on offense in red states like Montana and Ohio and purple states like Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as the party hopes to wrest the Senate from narrow Democratic control in November. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 21 Mar. 2024 Moreover, if any great conductor could wrest millions of pocket-change dollars from arts-adverse tech companies, Salonen seemed the one. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2024 These frequently debunked warnings all serve to prop up the same age-old moral panic: that hordes of foreign evil-doers are overwhelming communities, imposing their culture, and wresting control of institutions. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2024 Van Orden, who wrested Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District away from Democrats in 2022, faces a re-election fight in which national Democrats have signaled plans to target the district. Lawrence Andrea, Journal Sentinel, 7 Mar. 2024 These efforts have left us with an excessive number of school days being devoted to test taking and preparation while also wresting control over classroom time and creativity in lesson planning from teachers. Brandon Busteed, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 During the dispute, Hancock wrested away Jett’s pistol. Emma Goldberg Desiree Rios, New York Times, 21 Jan. 2024 The board said evidence suggested county officials at the time were partly responsible for his death after a mob wrested Daniel from a county jail cell. Joe Heim, Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2024
Noun
In a battle much more reminiscent of Succession than Fantasia, Disney’s kingpin Bob Iger turned back activist investors who attempted to wrest control of the company away from him on Wednesday in a dramatic shareholder vote. Andrew R. Chow, TIME, 3 Apr. 2024 The Ohio margin and outcome were overshadowed at the time by dramatic events in other states that Biden did manage to wrest from Trump and which were subsequently disputed by Trump and his partisans. Ron Elving, NPR, 23 Mar. 2024 In the meantime, Kim has focused on expanding his nuclear and missile arsenals in what experts say is an attempt to wrest concessions from Washington and Seoul. Hyung-Jin Kim, Chicago Tribune, 30 May 2023 His effort to wrest momentum out of Iowa was, however, short-lived. Catherine Lucey, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2024 Karamo is now backing a lawsuit seeking to wrest control of the building from the trust. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 9 Jan. 2024 In his brief message, the entrepreneur praised decisions taken in recent years by rival PDD Holdings Inc. to wrest market share from China’s e-commerce leader. Zheping Huang, Fortune, 29 Nov. 2023 For many watching this battle, the campaign to wrest control over the university’s direction — its policies, principles and vision for the future — was unsettling. Stephanie Saul, New York Times, 27 Oct. 2023 April 17, 2023 A recent attempt to wrest control over the district by imposing a state control board backfired on DeSantis when his team failed to attend an open meeting of the district in February, during which Disney defanged his attempt in broad daylight. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 18 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wrest.' 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 wrasten, wresten, from Old English wrǣstan; akin to Old Norse reista to bend and probably to Old English wrigian to turn — more at wry

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near wrest

Cite this Entry

“Wrest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrest. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

wrest

verb
ˈrest
1
: to pull, force, or move by violent wringing or twisting movements
2
: to gain by or as if by force or violence
wrest power from the king

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