wrench

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English[edit]

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A double-sided wrench
A pipe/monkey/adjustable wrench

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English wrenċan, from Proto-Germanic *wrankijaną. Compare German renken.

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

wrench (plural wrenches)

  1. (obsolete) A trick or artifice. [From VIII century.]
    • c. 1210, MS. Cotton Caligula A IX f.246
      Mon mai longe liues wene; / Ac ofte him liedh the wrench.
  2. (obsolete) Deceit; guile; treachery. [From XIII century.]
  3. A movement that twists or pulls violently; a tug. [From XVI century.]
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula Chapter 21
      With a wrench, which threw his victim back upon the bed as though hurled from a height, he turned and sprang at us.
  4. An injury caused by a violent twisting or pulling of a limb; strain, sprain. [From XVI century.]
  5. (obsolete) A turn at an acute angle. [From XVI century.]
  6. (archaic) A winch or windlass. [From XVI century.]
  7. (obsolete) A screw. [From XVI century.]
  8. A distorting change from the original meaning. [From XVII century.]
  9. (US) A hand tool for making rotational adjustments, such as fitting nuts and bolts, or fitting pipes; a spanner. [From XVIII century.]
  10. A violent emotional change caused by separation. [From XIX century.]
  11. (physics) In screw theory, a screw assembled from force and torque vectors arising from application of Newton's laws to a rigid body. [From XIX century.]
  12. (obsolete) means; contrivance
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

wrench (third-person singular simple present wrenches, present participle wrenching, simple past and past participle wrenched)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To violently move in a turn or writhe. [From XI century.]
  2. (transitive) To pull or twist violently. [From XIII century.]
    With a surge of adrenaline, she wrenched the car door off and pulled out the injured man.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To turn aside or deflect. [From XIII century.]
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To slander. [From XIV century.]
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To tighten with or as if with a winch. [From XVI century.]
  6. (transitive) To injure (a joint) by pulling or twisting. [From XVI century.]
    Be careful not to wrench your ankle walking along those loose stones!
  7. (transitive) To distort from the original meaning. [From XVI century.]
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To thrust a weapon in a twisting motion. [From XVI century.]
  9. (intransitive, fencing, obsolete) To disarm an opponent by whirling his or her blade away. [From XVIII century.]
  10. (transitive) To rack with pain. [From XVIII century.]
  11. (transitive) To deprive by means of a violent pull or twist. [From XVIII century.]
  12. (transitive) To use the tool known as a wrench. [From XIX century.]
    The plumber wrenched the pipes until they came loose.

Translations[edit]

External links[edit]