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Agonizing; extremely distressing, unpleasant, or emotionally disturbing; having a severe effect on one's feelings. What a gut-wrenching loss for the young athlete, who poured her heart and soul into this match. Kids today are so desensitized that images of violence their grandparents would have found gut-wrenching now barely even register a response.

put a (monkey) wrench in(to) the works

To disrupt, foil, or cause problems to a plan, activity, or project. Primarily heard in US. We had everything in line for the party, but having the caterer cancel on us at the last minute really threw a wrench in the works! It'll really put a monkey wrench into the works if the board decides not to increase our funding for this project.
See also: put, work, wrench

monkey wrench

1. A type of wrench that has adjustable jaws. Pass me that monkey wrench, will you? I need to get a hold of this nut here.
2. Something that causes problems or disruptions. Ellen's flight getting delayed really threw a monkey wrench into our plans for the day. This rain has sure put a monkey wrench into our pool party!
See also: monkey, wrench

throw a monkey wrench in the works

Fig. to cause problems for someone's plans. I don't want to throw a monkey wrench in the works, but have you checked your plans with a lawyer? When John suddenly refused to help us, he really threw a monkey wrench in the works.
See also: monkey, throw, work, wrench

wrench something from someone

to grab or twist something out of someone's grasp. The policeman wrenched the gun from Lefty's hand and called for his partner. Max wrenched the wallet from Jed's hand and fled with it.
See also: wrench

wrench something off (of) someone or something

 and wrench something off
to yank or twist something off someone or something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) He wrenched the shoes off the sleeping man and ran away. He wrenched off the catsup bottle cap.
See also: off, wrench

wrench something out of something

to yank or twist something out of something. The policeman wrenched the gun out of Lefty's hand and told Lefty to put his hands up. Tom wrenched the bone out of the dog's mouth and threw it away.
See also: of, out, wrench

throw a monkey wrench into something

to cause something to fail We keep trying to get together, but her crazy schedule keeps throwing a monkey wrench into our plans.
See also: monkey, throw, wrench

put/throw a spanner in the works

  (British & Australian) also put/throw a (monkey) wrench in the works (American)
to do something that prevents a plan or activity from succeeding We were hoping to get the project started in June but the funding was withdrawn so that rather threw a spanner in the works. The sudden withdrawal of the guest speaker really threw a monkey wrench in the works.
See also: put, spanner, work

throw a monkey wrench into

Sabotage or frustrate a project or plans, as in The boss threw a monkey wrench into our plans when he said we'd have to work Saturday. This transfer of industrial sabotage-that is, throwing a tool inside machinery-to other subjects dates from the early 1900s.
See also: monkey, throw, wrench

left-handed monkey wrench

n. a nonexistent tool. (see also sky hook.) Hand me the left-handed monkey wrench, huh?
See also: monkey, wrench


n. a mechanic. (Possibly from Mr. Goodwrench.) I gotta get my ride in and have a wrench look at the serpentine.
References in periodicals archive ?
Two tools comprise the range: the CP7736 half-inch impact wrench and the CP7736-2, which includes a two-inch long anvil attachment.
It culminated in you going to seek out a wrench which you used to strike your uncle.
Wrench held senior executive sales roles at Locus Technologies, Enviance and IHS, where he built the utility/oil and gas/energy practice for both.
The wrench is ergonomically designed and incredibly user-friendly with features such as a reversible side handle (6-position), a full teasing trigger for smooth operations and to increase control, and convenient forward/reverse switch for easier manipulation.
Astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) have successfully manufactured a working socket wrench using 3D printing technology.
The invention's unique design provides its users with a multi-functional ratchet wrench that allows them to work more efficiently.
The Combat Optic Tool Optimized has a 3/8-inch and 10mm box wrench that will work with LaRue Tactical and Aimpoint 3X Twist mounts, as well as a 1/2-inch open face wrench for Leupold, Badger Ordnance, Warne and other 1/2-inch cross-bolt mounts.
AR15 based tools incorporated into the Z Hawk include the castle nut wrench, barrel nut wrench, flash hider wrench and A2 receiver extension wrench.
Working mainly with the offshore and subsea sectors, the company makes and rents hydraulic torque wrenches, which can tighten nuts and bolts to highly specific requirements, while offering a range of associated services such as torque wrench calibration, torque wrench training and torque wrench repair.
The new Essential Operator's Tool from Snap-On includes the traditional adjustable wrench head, but also a redesigned curved handle end that can be used wherever valves are adjusted for flow and pressure.
Lowering your MLRS cab with a socket wrench and extension can be a real pain because the cab tends to jerk and bounce while it's moving.
The Aluminum Pipe Wrench Handle Extenders are aluminum pipes that come in four sizes to fit 14", 18", 24", and 36" steel and aluminum pipe wrenches They allow a user to apply half the force to get the same amount of torque and feature a special non-slip knurled or machine textured grip to lower fatigue for the muscles in the hand.
The Netherlocks Power Wrench portable pneumatic valve actuator facilitates operation of manual valves for process industry employees while contributing to safe working conditions.
3M ESPE states that the wrench's custom torque markings provide a continuous readout while the graduated torque wrench helps maintain appropriate torque levels during the MDI placement procedure.
UAE construction giant Al Habtoor-Murray & Roberts JV has adopted a key solution from India-based Wrench Solutions for its upcoming 'St.