Definition of monkey wrench in English:

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monkey wrench

Pronunciation: /ˈməNGkē ˌrenCH/


An adjustable wrench with large jaws that has its adjusting screw contained in the handle.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Last, but not least, what tool kit is not complete without a monkey wrench.


(monkeywrench) [with object] informal
Sabotage (something), especially as a form of protest: (as noun monkeywrenching) the five defendants who received jail sentences for monkeywrenching
More example sentences
  • ‘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.’
  • More than a narrative of organizing, demonstrating and monkey-wrenching, it places Earth First!
  • 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.


a monkey wrench in the works (or schedule, plan, etc.)

A person or thing that prevents the successful implementation of a plan: even he couldn’t throw a monkey wrench into the works a cancellation can throw a real monkey wrench into the schedule
More example sentences
  • That will only make you a pest to your colleagues and employers, and a monkey wrench in the works of the publishing process.
  • Are you trying to throw a monkey wrench in the works to get out of helping us’?
  • This throws a monkey wrench in the works as far as political loyalties go.



Example sentences
  • What would Abbey's principal monkey-wrencher think of a trail named after him?

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mon·key wrench

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