Monkey-wrench meaning

A hand tool with adjustable jaws for turning nuts of varying sizes.
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Something that disrupts.

He threw a monkey wrench into our plans.

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A wrench with one movable jaw, adjusted by a screw to fit various sizes of a nut, etc.
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A wrench with a smooth adjustable jaw to grip different sizes of nuts.
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A pipe wrench.
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(idiomatic) A problem, obstacle or dilemma; something unexpected or troublesome.

Having a baby will add a monkey wrench to her routines.

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Alternative form of monkey wrench.
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throw a monkey wrench into
  • To disrupt or prevent the orderly functioning or realization of; sabotage.
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

throw a monkey wrench into

Origin of monkey-wrench

  • Origin unknown

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition