Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To obtain or remove by pulling with twisting movements.
  • transitive verb To take possession of forcefully; seize or usurp.
  • transitive verb To gain or extract with persistent effort; wring.
  • noun A small tuning key for the wrest pins of a stringed instrument.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To twist or turn; especially, to deflect, as from the existing or normal state, character, course, or significance: now used chiefly of immaterial things.
  • To remove, obtain, or bring by or as if by twisting or wringing; extract or pluck with. much effort; wring; wrench.
  • To wrestle; contend; strive.
  • noun The mold-board of a plow: originally its front portion. See turn-wrest plow (under plow).
  • noun l A twist; a writhing.
  • noun A tortuous action; distortion; perversion; hence, a ruse; a stratagem. Compare wrench, n., 1.
  • noun An instrument of the wrench, screw-key, or spanner kind; specifically, a key or small wrench for tuning stringed musical instruments, as the harp or piano, by turning the pins to which the strings are fastened. See tuning-hammer, and tuning-key (under key).
  • noun The partition in an overshot wheel which determines the form of the buckets.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To turn; to twist; esp., to twist or extort by violence; to pull of force away by, or as if by, violent wringing or twisting.
  • transitive verb To turn from truth; to twist from its natural or proper use or meaning by violence; to pervert; to distort.
  • transitive verb obsolete To tune with a wrest, or key.
  • noun The act of wresting; a wrench; a violent twist; hence, distortion; perversion.
  • noun obsolete Active or moving power.
  • noun A key to tune a stringed instrument of music.
  • noun A partition in a water wheel, by which the form of the buckets is determined.
  • noun (Piano Manuf.) one of the pins around which the ends of the wires are wound in a piano.
  • noun (Piano Manuf.) the part in which the wrest pins are inserted.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To pull or twist violently.
  • verb To obtain by pulling or violent force.
  • verb figuratively To seize
  • verb figuratively To twist, pervert, distort.
  • noun The act of wresting; a wrench or twist; distortion.
  • noun obsolete Active or motive power.
  • noun music A key to tune a stringed instrument.
  • noun A partition in a water wheel by which the form of the buckets is determined.

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

  • verb obtain by seizing forcibly or violently, also metaphorically

Etymologies

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

[Middle English wresten, from Old English wrǣstan, to twist; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English wræstan ("to twist, wrench"), from Proto-Germanic *wraistijanan (cf. Old Norse reista ("to bend, twist")), from a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *wreiḱ-. See also wry, writhe.

Examples

  • The Republicans require wins in 39 districts to wrest from the Democrats control of the 435-member House.

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  • Alaine screamed once and her body writhed, and then Tris felt the tortured spirit within wrest free of her prison.

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  • The change in the rules of engagement might help, but with only 20,000 more troops I do not see our forces being able to independently hold ground we wrest from the Sunni, or especially the Shiite, insurgents (or "militias" if you prefer).

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  • They are running TV ads in 42 districts they are trying to wrest from the GOP, three of them new targets starting today.

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  • A courtly man with an ornery streak and a stately head of white hair, Hooper seemed typecast for the role of southern chief justice, a role he hoped to wrest from the popular Democratic incumbent, Ernest "Sonny" Hornsby.

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  • It was resolved to wrest from the French all the conquests they had made upon British dominion.

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  • A courtly man with an ornery streak and a stately head of white hair, Hooper seemed typecast for the role of southern chief justice, a role he hoped to wrest from the popular Democratic incumbent, Ernest "Sonny" Hornsby.

    Karl Rove in a Corner

  • A courtly man with an ornery streak and a stately head of white hair, Hooper seemed typecast for the role of southern chief justice, a role he hoped to wrest from the popular Democratic incumbent, Ernest "Sonny" Hornsby.

    Karl Rove in a Corner

  • Austria was striving to wrest from the Turks that portion of Servian territory which she still desires to posses, she called on Kilmeni to help.

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  • England had to wrest from the Dutch their ascendancy in New

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Comments

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  • I hope the captors have a wrestroom.

    October 11, 2008