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See also: Spanner and spänner




span +‎ -er


  • (UK) enPR: spăn'ə(r), IPA(key): /ˈspæn.ə(ɹ)/
  • (US) enPR: spăn'ər, IPA(key): /ˈspæn.ɚ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ænə(r)


English Wikipedia has an article on:
A spanner

spanner (plural spanners)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Ireland) A hand tool for adjusting nuts and bolts; a wrench.
    Pass me that spanner, Jake; there's just one more nut to screw in.
  2. (rare) One who, or that which, spans.
    • 1915, Florence Kiper Frank, The Jew to Jesus: and other poems
      The scheme of the spanner of continents and the desire of the little husbandman hoarding for his loved ones...
  3. (weaponry) A hand tool shaped like a small crank handle, for winding the spring of a wheel lock on a musket.
    • 1786, Fig. 10. The spanner for spanning or winding up the spring of the wheel lock. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page xvi.
  4. (obsolete) A device in early steam engines for moving the valves for the alternate admission and shutting off of the steam.
  5. (Britain) A problem, dilemma or obstacle; something unexpected or troublesome (in the phrase spanner in the works)
    Halfway through the production of Macbeth, the director found that the stage was smaller than he expected. This really threw a spanner in the works.
  6. (Britain, Ireland, mildly derogatory) A stupid or unintelligent person; one prone to making mistakes, especially in language.
    You spanner, Rodney! I wanted a Chinese, not an Indian!


  • (hand tool for nuts and bolts): wrench (US)

Related termsEdit



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.