Share this entry

spanner Line breaks: span|ner
Pronunciation: /ˈspanə/

Definition of spanner in English:


chiefly British
A tool with a shaped opening or jaws for gripping and turning a nut or bolt.
Example sentences
  • He collects some other tools, a hammer, nails, spanners, screwdrivers and a few more saw-blades, and slots them into the zippered pouches on his backpack.
  • I know one particular man who actually got a rowing boat and went across in his dinner hour and welded spanners, wedges and hammers to the bulk head and rowed back again.
  • Unless you have pretty particular interests you're probably not going to have much use for a magnifying glass, a spanner or a miniature jig-saw.


spanner in the works

see work.


Late 18th century: from German spannen 'draw tight' + -er1.

  • The word spanner is based on German spannen ‘draw tight’.

Words that rhyme with spanner

Alana, Anna, bandanna, banner, Branagh, canna, canner, Diana, fanner, Fermanagh, Guyana, Hannah, Havana, hosanna, Indiana, Joanna, lanner, Louisiana, manna, manner, manor, Montana, nana, planner, Pollyanna, Rosanna, savannah, scanner, Susanna, tanner

Definition of spanner in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources