I. transitive verb Etymology: 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 Date: before 12th century 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 II. noun Date: 14th century 1. the action of wresting ; wrench 2. archaic a key or wrench used for turning pins in a stringed instrument (as a harp or piano)

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • 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 — 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 …   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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