Definition of monkey wrench in English:

monkey wrench


  • An adjustable spanner with large jaws which has its adjusting screw located in the jaw that is fixed.

    • ‘Last, but not least, what tool kit is not complete without a monkey wrench.’
    • ‘If you ask that one more time, I will have to bludgeon you with a monkey wrench.’
    • ‘Today he described how he tried to fight off the carjackers as they battered him with a monkey wrench.’
    • ‘Your great-Uncle Jack, inventor of the left-handed monkey wrench, left you $250,000.’
    • ‘Ben turned just in time to get a monkey wrench to the head.’
    • ‘Consider a multi-wrench for those all-purpose jobs, but also add a pipe wrench, a spud wrench, strap and chain wrench, and a monkey wrench.’
    • ‘The constable paused to grab a heavy monkey wrench and he put it back down and pulled out the far shorter regulation truncheon.’
    • ‘Then he turned back to his motorcycle, while I wiped away my tears and retrieved his monkey wrench.’
    • ‘Two masked men dragged the insurance broker from his car and battered him on the head with a monkey wrench in an attempt to steal his car.’
    • ‘In July, three masked robbers threatened security guards with a monkey wrench and a shotgun before stealing cash from the bank.’
    • ‘Our first mistake inside the roof was to drop the monkey wrench.’
    • ‘Called a bobbejaan spanner in this country, it's referred to as a monkey wrench in other parts of the English-speaking world.’
    • ‘‘Maybe,’ replied Adam, with a loud grunt as he turned the monkey wrench one last time.’
    • ‘They smashed the passenger window with a monkey wrench, hit the 53-year-old driver on the arm and grabbed the parcels from the back of the van.’
    • ‘He went for his victim with a monkey wrench, and was only stopped when a passing van driver saw what was happening.’
    • ‘It wasn't a monkey wrench like the cops thought, but in fact it was a gasfitter's wrench and it was that long.’
    • ‘He hid there while the other man used a monkey wrench to smash his car windows, causing £2,500 damage, before getting back into his car and driving off at speed.’
    • ‘They taught me how to work the wrench, the monkey wrench, so I kind of had to do a bit of training, to be honest with you.’
    spanner, adjustable spanner
    View synonyms


  • [with object] Sabotage (something), especially as a form of protest.

    ‘they will spike trees and monkeywrench any attempts to log in wilderness areas’
    ‘the five defendants received jail sentences for monkey-wrenching’
    • ‘This film is the director's latest nonchalant monkey-wrenching of reality, and is no different than his previous work.’
    • ‘‘They would have let me out after a month if I'd expressed remorse,’ he says, ‘but we couldn't let them think jailing me would stop monkey-wrenching.’’
    • ‘For years, they were seen as the power behind attempted monkey-wrenching to the state's environmental laws and its stiff anti-corporate farming law.’
    • ‘More than a narrative of organizing, demonstrating and monkey-wrenching, it places Earth First!’


monkey wrench