wrest (someone or something) (away) from (someone or something)
1. To take someone or something away from someone or something by pulling in a violent, wrenching manner. The man has been hailed as a hero for wresting the gun away from the shooter before anyone was harmed. The officers wrested my son from me before I had the chance to run.
2. To manage to obtain control or possession of something through some battle, struggle, or conflict with someone or something else. The rebels wrested power from the dictatorship after five years of war. The political party finally managed to wrest control of congress away from their opponents for the first time in 10 years. You'll have to wrest the kids away from me in the courts.
3. To obtain or extract something, such as information, from someone or something, especially after much difficulty or persistence. We were finally able to wrest some answers from the spy we were interrogating. I've never been able to wrest any meaning away from abstract paintings—they always look just like splatters of paint to me.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wrest someone or something (away) from someone or something
to struggle to get someone or something from the grip of someone or something. The kidnappers wrested the baby from his mother and ran away with him. The policeman wrested the gun away from Lefty.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To obtain something from someone or something by pulling with violent twisting movements: I wrested the hammer from his fist.
2. To usurp or obtain possession of something forcefully from someone or something: The duke wrested power from the monarchy.
3. To extract something from someone or something by or as if by force, twisting, or persistent effort: In class I struggled to wrest the meaning from an obscure poem.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.