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Wrested control

Posted by Bruce Kahl on September 08, 2004

In Reply to: Wrested control posted by Smokey Stover on September 08, 2004

: : : I have a tiny paragraph there
: : : -Papua has had an unhappy histroy since Indonesia "wrested" control from former colonial ruler. Does the "wrested" mean "something gain by a hard struggle?"

: : : thank you

: :
: : yes.

: No hard struggle implied. Indonesia may have taken control by main force, or seized control by force, but not necessarily much of it. If you march five people into the capital and say, "We declare this all to be ours," that may be all that's needed. Wresting control from someone else is something you do without a friendly agreement, but not necessarily by a struggle. Or there may be a struggle, depends. You can wrest the attention of your fellow diners, say, away from someone else by the simple act of eructation. Think wrestle, but without the specific physical activity or the mat. (I've got to remember to check the OED. I may be out on a limb.) SS

To wrest does generally have a forceful aspect:

Main Entry: 1wrest
Pronunciation: 'rest
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English wrasten, wresten, from Old English wr[AE]stan; akin to Old Norse reista to bend and probably to Old English wrigian to turn -- more at WRY
1 : to pull, force, or move by violent wringing or twisting movements
2 : to gain with difficulty by or as if by force, violence, or determined labor