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

  • transitive v. To obtain by or as if by pulling with violent twisting movements: wrested the book out of his hands; wrested the islands from the settlers.
  • transitive v. To usurp forcefully: wrested power from the monarchy.
  • transitive v. To extract by or as if by force, twisting, or persistent effort; wring: wrest the meaning from an obscure poem.
  • transitive v. To distort or twist the nature or meaning of: wrested the words out of context.
  • transitive v. To divert to an improper use; misapply.
  • n. The act of wresting.
  • n. Music A small tuning key for the wrest pins of a stringed instrument.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of wresting; a wrench; a violent twist; hence, distortion; perversion.
  • n. Active or moving power.
  • n. A key to tune a stringed instrument of music.
  • n. A partition in a water wheel, by which the form of the buckets is determined.
  • transitive v. 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 v. To turn from truth; to twist from its natural or proper use or meaning by violence; to pervert; to distort.
  • transitive v. To tune with a wrest, or key.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. The mold-board of a plow: originally its front portion. See turn-wrest plow (under plow).
  • n. l A twist; a writhing.
  • n. A tortuous action; distortion; perversion; hence, a ruse; a stratagem. Compare wrench, n., 1.
  • n. 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).
  • n. The partition in an overshot wheel which determines the form of the buckets.

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

  • v. obtain by seizing forcibly or violently, also metaphorically


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

Middle English wresten, from Old English wrǣstan, to twist; see wer-2 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.


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  • I hope the captors have a wrestroom.

    October 11, 2008