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wrestle (someone or something) (away) from (someone or something)
1. To take someone or something away from someone or something else by pulling in a violent, wrenching manner. The bullies wrestled my diary away from me and started reading it in front of the whole class. The officer wrestled the hostage from the criminal. The whole car was so badly rusted that I had to really wrestle this part away from the engine.
2. To manage to obtain control or possession of something through some battle, struggle, or conflict with someone or something else. The rebels wrestled power from the dictatorship after five years of war. The political party finally managed to wrestle control of congress away from their opponents for the first time in 10 years. You'll have to wrestle the kids away from me in court.
3. To obtain or extract something, such as information, from someone or something, especially after much difficulty or persistence. We were finally able to wrestle some answers from the spy we were interrogating. I've been going to counseling in an effort to wrestle some meaning out of this tragic situation.
wrestle (someone or something) into (something)
1. To force a person or a large, unwieldy object into some place or thing with great difficulty or physical effort. I spent most of the morning wrestling desks and filing cabinets into the new office. The officers managed to wrestle the suspect into the squad car.
2. To use great physical force to put someone into a particular state, condition, or position. Someone managed to wrestle the man into submission before he was able to hurt anyone. I had to keep wrestling the patient into an upright position so I could feed her.
3. To manage to form or change something into a particular state or condition after much difficulty or effort. His first draft was a total mess, but I managed to wrestle it into a halfway decent story. I've been trying to wrestle this computer into working order, but there is something seriously wrong with it.
wrestle with (someone or something)
1. Literally, to grapple with someone or an animal in an attempt to subdue and immobilize or just as part of aggressive play. The kids have been out there wrestling with each other all day. The animal control worker had to wrestle with the rabid raccoon to get it in the cage.
2. To attempt to handle or move something, typically a large, heavy, or unwieldy object, with much difficulty. We had to wrestle with it a bit, but we finally got that big bed frame upstairs.
3. To attempt to deal with something difficult or troubling, such as a problem or decision. I've wrestled with this equation for hours, but I just can't seem to get it right. He's clearly wrestling with his past and trying to make amends for the things he's done.
wrestle with a pig
To attempt a futile task with someone who enjoys the struggle (just as a pig would enjoy wrestling in the mud). I swear, trying to get the truth out of a teenager is like wrestling with a pig! My daughter has an excuse for everything, and I think she enjoys frustrating me!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wrestle something from someone
to get something away from someone after a physical struggle. Wally wrestled the gun away from Max and threw it out the window. I could not wrestle my wallet from the thief.
wrestle something into something
to struggle with something large to get it into something or some place. She wrestled the packages into the backseat of the car. I wrestled the suitcases into the rack over my seat.
wrestle with someone
to contend with someone in a physical wrestling match. You are too big to wrestle with him! I want to wrestle with someone my own size.
wrestle with something
1. . to struggle with something large to move it about. He wrestled with the piano and finally got it to move. The two men were wrestling with the heavy trunk for nearly ten minutes, trying to get it up the stairs.
2. . to grapple or struggle with some large animal. The man wrestled with the tiger for a while but was seriously mauled in a short time. Sam liked to wrestle with the family dog.
3. to struggle with a difficult problem; to struggle with a moral decision. We wrestled with the problem and finally decided to go ahead. Let me wrestle with this matter for a while longer.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To contend with someone by grappling and attempting to throw or immobilize one's opponent: I wrestled with my cousin in the living room until my mom ordered us to go outside.
2. To contend or struggle with something or someone: The students wrestled with the math problem all afternoon.
3. To strive in an effort to master something: The thieves must wrestle with the guilt that weighs on them.
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.