Definition of wrestle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrɛs(ə)l/


[no object]
1Take part in a fight, either as sport or in earnest, that involves grappling with one’s opponent and trying to throw or force them to the ground: as the policeman wrestled with the gunman a shot rang out
More example sentences
  • Opponents wrestle until one is thrown to the ground.
  • Then we had a snowball fight, wrestled around on the ground, and carried on with play fights for a short while until we were all quite exhausted.
  • They fell forward onto the ground, locked together as they wrestled with one another in order to separate themselves into two people.
1.1 [with object and adverbial] Force (someone) into a particular position or place by grappling with them: the security guards wrestled them to the ground
More example sentences
  • Mr Foster, a former police constable, then struggled with several of the security team, who wrestled him to the floor.
  • Officers chased him on foot, tried to disable him with a Taser gun (repelled by Johnson's leather jacket), and finally wrestled him from the cart.
  • I was about 50 feet away from Jaggi when 3 or 4 cops dressed as protesters grabbed him, wrestled him into a van and sped away.
1.2 [with object and adverbial] Move or manipulate (something) with difficulty: she wrestled the keys out of the ignition
More example sentences
  • Slowly, they wave toward the harbor, a sign that somewhere deep in the scrum the Doonies have wrestled the ball away and are ready to start moving back.
  • Emily moved and he grabbed her trying to wrestle the chips from her.
  • The headmaster concentrated on the track, wrestling the wheel of the big car.
2Struggle with a difficulty or problem: for over a year David wrestled with a guilty conscience
More example sentences
  • After finishing 11th overall in the World Cup last year, Baxter had had a difficult season as he wrestled with equipment problems, racing with five different pairs of skis in six races.
  • Garner has wrestled with dozens of difficult decisions during this improbable 42-14 run.
  • In the days before the conference, attendees and faculty wrestled with the difficult decision of whether to follow us to Florida.
grapple, fight, struggle, wrangle, contend, vie, battle, combat;
scuffle, tussle, jostle, brawl, clash;
get to grips, come to grips
informal scrap


[in singular]
1A wrestling bout or contest: a wrestle to the death
More example sentences
  • She came at him again, but he grabbed her arms and they fell to the hilly terrain in what looked like a death wrestle.
  • She clasped the revolver tightly and looked in the direction where the wrestle for the sniper's gun continued between Alex and the captain.
  • Then the Bedford crowd came in and I think there were a few words exchanged and a bit of a wrestle.
2A hard struggle: a lifelong wrestle with depression
More example sentences
  • A brief wrestle with his conscience told James that he was not the sort of man who could watch another man die, however much he loathed him, and, still bellowing for assistance, he began to swim towards Charles.
  • If that is the piece's only real flaw, however, encourage the writer to resubmit it after a good wrestle with indecision.
  • Poultry shears cut through the bones of chicken, duck, and other birds without the carving wrestle.


Old English, frequentative of wrǣstan 'wrest'.

Words that rhyme with wrestle

Bessel, nestle, pestle, redressal, trestle, vessel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wres¦tle

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