9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[rest] /rɛst/
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.
Origin of wrest
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.
Related forms
wrester, noun
unwrested, adjective
unwresting, adjective
Can be confused
rest, wrest.
1, 3. wring. 3. See extract. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wrest
  • 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.
  • For now,One is doing politics to wrest a house from rival.
  • It's amazing the variety you can wrest from thrown-away and falling-apart.
  • Fortunately, new lab facilities dedicated to the study of clouds will soon wrest that field from poets, the geophysicists argue.
  • He may be able to wrest success along the lines on which he originally started.
  • Private equity has piles of unallocated capital, although it has become much more difficult to wrest undrawn funds from investors.
  • Self-appointed decency police are trying to wrest control of what you're allowed to watch.
British Dictionary definitions for wrest


verb (transitive)
to take or force away by violent pulling or twisting
to seize forcibly by violent or unlawful means
to obtain by laborious effort
to distort in meaning, purpose, etc
the act or an instance of wresting
(archaic) a small key used to tune a piano or harp
Derived Forms
wrester, noun
Word Origin
Old English wrǣstan; related to Old Norse reista. See writhe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for wrest

Old English wræstan "to twist, wrench," from Proto-Germanic *wraistijanan (cf. Old Norse 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 reference to power, authority, etc.) is attested from early 15c. Related: Wrested; wresting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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