verb (used with object)
to twist or turn; pull, jerk, or force by a violent twist.
to take away by force: to wrest a knife from a child.
to get by effort: to wrest a living from the soil.
to twist or turn from the proper course, application, use, meaning, or the like; wrench.
a wresting; twist or wrench.
a key or small wrench for tuning stringed musical instruments, as the harp or piano, by turning the pins to which the strings are fastened.

before 1000; (v.) Middle English wresten, Old English wrǣstan; cognate with Old Norse reista; akin to wrist; (noun) Middle English: a wresting, derivative of the v.

wrester, noun
unwrested, adjective
unwresting, adjective

rest, wrest.

1, 3. wring. 3. See extract.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wrest (rɛst)
1.  to take or force away by violent pulling or twisting
2.  to seize forcibly by violent or unlawful means
3.  to obtain by laborious effort
4.  to distort in meaning, purpose, etc
5.  the act or an instance of wresting
6.  archaic a small key used to tune a piano or harp
[Old English wrǣstan; related to Old Norse reista. See writhe]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. wræstan "to twist, wrench," from P.Gmc. *wraistijanan (cf. O.N. reista "to bend, twist"), derivative of *wrig-, *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). Meaning "to pull, detach" (something) is recorded from c.1300. Meaning "to take by force" (in ref. to power, authority, etc.) is attested from 1426.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
To interrupt is to show dominance and try to wrest control.
Nor is it certain that the new entrants will ever be able to wrest away the big
  three hardware makers' customers.
Wrest what goodies you could and move on, was the get-rich-quick refrain.
They wrest cash from the state to fund the yeshivas.
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