WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
adjustable spanner, [Brit.]
  1. Building, British TermsSee  monkey wrench (def. 1).

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
ˈmon•key ˌwrench, n. [countable]
  • Buildinga wrench having a movable opening that can be adjusted for grasping nuts of different sizes.
  • something that interferes:That throws a monkey wrench into our plans.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
    monkey wrench′, 
    1. BuildingAlso called,[esp. Brit.,] adjustable spanner. a wrench having an adjustable jaw permitting it to grasp nuts or the like of different sizes.
    2. something that interferes with functioning;
      obstacle:He threw a monkey wrench into our plans.
    • 1855–60

    mon•key-wrench  (mungkē rench′),USA pronunciation  v.t. 
    1. to ruin (plans, a schedule, etc.) unavoidably or, sometimes, deliberately:The storm monkey-wrenched our plans for a picnic.

    v.i. 
    1. to prevent, delay, or sabotage industrialization or development of wilderness areas, esp. through vandalism.
    monkey-wrench′er, n. 

    'adjustable spanner' also found in these entries:
    Synonyms: wrench, more...

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