Wrest Wrest, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Wrested}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Wresting}.] [OE. wresten, AS. wr?stan; akin to wr?? a twisted band, and wr[=i]?n to twist. See {Writhe}.] [1913 Webster] 1. 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. ``The secret wrested from me.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Our country's cause, That drew our swords, now secret wrests them from our hand. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

They instantly wrested the government out of the hands of Hastings. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

2. To turn from truth; to twist from its natural or proper use or meaning by violence; to pervert; to distort. [1913 Webster]

Wrest once the law to your authority. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor. --Ex. xxiii. 6. [1913 Webster]

Their arts of wresting, corrupting, and false interpreting the holy text. --South. [1913 Webster]

3. To tune with a wrest, or key. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wrest — Wrest, n. 1. The act of wresting; a wrench; a violent twist; hence, distortion; perversion. Hooker. [1913 Webster] 2. Active or moving power. [Obs.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] 3. A key to tune a stringed instrument of music. [1913 Webster] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wrest — [rest] v [T always + adverb/preposition] [: Old English; Origin: wrAstan] 1.) formal to take power or influence away from someone, especially when this is difficult ▪ They are fighting to wrest control of the party from the old leaders. 2.)… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • wrest — wrest; wrest·er; turn·wrest; …   English syllables

  • wrest — index contort, deprive, exact, extort, levy, seize (confiscate), sequester (seize property), slant …   Law dictionary

  • wrest — [ rest ] verb transitive 1. ) MAINLY JOURNALISM to get land, power, or possessions from someone, usually by fighting: Russia wrested control of the northern Caucasus in the 19th century. 2. ) FORMAL to pull something away from someone using force …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wrest — (v.) O.E. wræstan to twist, wrench, from P.Gmc. *wraistijanan (Cf. O.N. reista to bend, twist ), derivative of *wrig , *wreik to turn (see WRY (Cf. wry)). Meaning to pull, detach (something) is recorded from c.1300. Meaning to take by force (in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • wrest — vb *wrench, wring Analogous words: twist, bend (see CURVE): usurp, *arrogate, confiscate: extort, extract, elicit (see EDUCE): distort, contort (see DEFORM) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • wrest — ► VERB 1) forcibly pull from a person s grasp. 2) take (power or control) after effort or resistance. ORIGIN Old English, «twist, tighten»; related to WRIST(Cf. ↑wrist) …   English terms dictionary

  • wrest — [rest] vt. [ME wresten < OE wræstan, to twist violently, akin to ON reista < IE base * wer , to turn, bend, twist > WRITHE] 1. to turn or twist; esp., to pull or force away violently with a twisting motion 2. to take or extract by force; …   English World dictionary

  • wrest — [[t]re̱st[/t]] wrests, wresting, wrested 1) VERB If you wrest something from someone else, you take it from them, especially when this is difficult or illegal. [JOURNALISM or, LITERARY] [V n from n] For the past year he has been trying to wrest… …   English dictionary

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