from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sudden sharp, forcible twist or turn.
  • n. An injury produced by twisting or straining.
  • n. A sudden tug at one's emotions; a surge of compassion, sorrow, or anguish.
  • n. A break or parting that causes emotional distress.
  • n. The pain so associated: felt a wrench when he was parted from his children.
  • n. A distortion in the original form or meaning of something written or spoken; twisted interpretation.
  • n. Any of various hand or power tools, often having fixed or adjustable jaws, used for gripping, turning, or twisting objects such as nuts, bolts, or pipes.
  • transitive v. To twist or turn suddenly and forcibly.
  • transitive v. To twist and sprain: I wrenched my knee.
  • transitive v. To move, extract, or force free by pulling violently; yank. See Synonyms at jerk1.
  • transitive v. To pull at the feelings or emotions of; distress: It wrenched her to watch them go.
  • transitive v. To distort or twist the original character or import of: wrenched the text to prove her point.
  • intransitive v. To give a wrench, twist, or turn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Trick; deceit; fraud; stratagem.
  • n. A violent twist, or a pull with twisting.
  • n. A sprain; an injury by twisting, as in a joint.
  • n. Means; contrivance.
  • n. An instrument, often a simple bar or lever with jaws or an angular orifice either at the end or between the ends, for exerting a twisting strain, as in turning bolts, nuts, screw taps, etc.; a screw key. Many wrenches have adjustable jaws for grasping nuts, etc., of different sizes.
  • n. The system made up of a force and a couple of forces in a plane perpendicular to that force. Any number of forces acting at any points upon a rigid body may be compounded so as to be equivalent to a wrench.
  • transitive v. To pull with a twist; to wrest, twist, or force by violence.
  • transitive v. To strain; to sprain; hence, to distort; to pervert.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To twist or turn about with effort or violence; give a sudden twist to; hence, to distort; pervert; turn awry.
  • To injure or pain by a twisting action; produce a distorting effect in or upon; distort; sprain: as, to wrench one's ankle.
  • To pull or draw with torsion; extract by twisting or tortuous action; hence, to wrest forcibly or violently.
  • To have or undergo a wrenching motion; turn twistingly.
  • n. A hose-coupling wrench or spanner. The hose-coupling union may have pins or tits on its exterior face, fitting a hole in the end of the curved bar or spanner; or the unions may have radial holes into which a tit on the end of the spanner may enter.
  • n. A crooked or tortuous action; a fraudulent device; a trick; a deceit; a stratagem.
  • n. A violent twist or turn given to something; a pulling awry: a sudden twisting out of shape, place, or relation: used of both material and immaterial things: as, to sprain one's foot by a wrench; the change was a great wrench to his feelings.
  • n. A sharp turn; specifically, in coursing, the turning of a hare at less than a right angle.
  • n. In mathematical physics, a force, or variation of force, tending to give a body a twist about an imaginary or real screw.
  • n. A tool consisting essentially of a bar of metal having jaws at one end adapted to catch upon the head of a bolt or a nut, or to hold a metal pipe or rod, so as to turn it.
  • n. Means of compulsion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a hand tool that is used to hold or twist a nut or bolt
  • v. make a sudden twisting motion
  • n. a jerky pulling movement
  • n. a sharp strain on muscles or ligaments
  • v. twist and compress, as if in pain or anguish
  • v. twist suddenly so as to sprain
  • v. twist or pull violently or suddenly, especially so as to remove (something) from that to which it is attached or from where it originates


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Middle English wrenchen, to twist, from Old English wrencan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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  • "Back into the life he wants and the confession of the bench

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