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

  • n. A hand tool with adjustable jaws for turning nuts of varying sizes.
  • n. Informal Something that disrupts: He threw a monkey wrench into our plans.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A wrench with a smooth adjustable jaw to grip different sizes of nuts.
  • n. A pipe wrench.
  • n. A problem, obstacle or dilemma; something unexpected or troublesome.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See under Monkey.

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

  • n. adjustable wrench that has one fixed and one adjustable jaw


Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Plumm told Crosse about Dunross's takeover bid. "lan's thrown a monkey wrench into Pug."

    Noble House

  • A major monkey wrench had been tossed into the main theory: Pavel Menansi had been murdered too, in a fashion similar to Valerie Simpson.

    Drop Shot


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