Definitions

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The mold-board of a plow: originally its front portion. See turn-wrest plow (under plow).
  • 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. 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

Etymologies

Middle English wresten, from Old English wrǣstan, to twist; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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

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

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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.

    War, economy sway race

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

    The Virginians

  • 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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  • 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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  • He went so far, in a time of peace, as to seize and wrest from the German Empire the city of _Strasburg_, to establish his domination there, and to introduce the Catholic worship, in the room of the Protestant, in the minster (1681).

    Outline of Universal History

  • The object of the suit was to wrest from the constable the lordships bequeathed to him by Suzanne de Beaujeu, one of the richest heiresses in Europe, and to which Louise of Savoy laid claim as next of kin to the deceased.

    The Heptameron of Margaret, Queen of Navarre

Comments

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  • I hope the captors have a wrestroom.

    October 11, 2008