Definition of spanner noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈspænə(r)//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈspænər//
(British English) (also wrench North American English, British English)
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  • a metal tool with a specially shaped end for holding and turning nuts and bolts (= small metal rings and pins that hold things together) I’ll need a spanner to change the back wheel. compare adjustable spanner
  • Word Originlate 18th cent.: from German spannen ‘draw tight’ + -er.Idioms
    (throw) a spanner in the works (British English) (North American English (throw) a (monkey) wrench in the works)
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    (to cause) a delay or problem with something that somebody is planning or doing