wrest from


Also found in: Legal.

wrest (away) from (someone or something)

1. To take someone or something away from someone or something by pulling in a violent, wrenching manner. A noun or pronoun is used between "wrest" and "(away) from." 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. A noun or pronoun is used between "wrest" and "(away) from." 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.
See also: wrest

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.
See also: wrest

wrest from

v.
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.
See also: wrest
References in classic literature ?
For this is the day we are to conquer His Majesty the Scarecrow, and wrest from him the throne.
2 : to obtain only by great and steady effort <"For this is the day we are to conquer His Majesty the Scarecrow, and wrest from him the throne." L.
The newel Undeterred, Lola sets out to at least wrest from Carla the lead role in the school's production of Pygmalion, wowing the locals with her talent and showing Carla that competition has finally come to town.
The three seats Labour are concentrating on are Yewdale, Botcherby and St Aidan's which they are trying to wrest from the Conservatives.
But it is the remarkable range of sounds which Hackett contrives to wrest from his instrument which will fascinate anyone who ever harboured any ambitions to master the instrument.
To paraphrase appallingly: The desire for meaning, and the artifices through which meaning is pursued, wrest from inarticulate Nature--or from imponderable sorrow--ghostly, evanescent demarcations of who we are and what we mean to be.