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)

Example Sentences

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
Republicans need 51 seats to wrest control of the upper chamber from Democrats, while Democrats only need 50. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 10 Nov. 2022 Nationally, Republicans inched closer to a narrow House majority on Wednesday but had yet to wrest control from Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her party. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, 10 Nov. 2022 Author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance won Ohio’s competitive U.S. Senate race on Tuesday, keeping the seat in Republican hands as the party tries to wrest control of Congress from Democrats. Stephanie Warsmith, The Enquirer, 8 Nov. 2022 This leads them to form coalitions containing multiple parties to wrest control of a majority of the 61 seats. Devika Rao, The Week, 3 Nov. 2022 Ryan Luccarelli responded to Abington’s only score of the second half by returning the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to wrest the lead away. Cam Kerry, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Oct. 2022 In the following scene — unfolding in single, wordless take — news of her son’s death pushes Rhaenyra away from her measured attempt to wrest back control of Westeros from the Greens, and into all-out war. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 24 Oct. 2022 Still, somebody out there knows that our art needs to wrest it back, to take the trash in. Wesley Morris, New York Times, 12 Oct. 2022 Another is that only the largest media companies will wrest money from Big Tech, with smaller publishers left in the cold, and that the money might go to CEO salaries instead of hiring journalists. Benjamin Wofford, WIRED, 30 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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 26 Nov. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on wrest

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