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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.
See also: wrestle

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.
See also: wrestle

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, find a solution to, or come to a decision about something difficult, troubling, or problematic. 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.
See also: wrestle

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!
See also: pig, wrestle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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