1 a steel hand tool with a handle carrying jaws or a hole of particular shape designed to grip a nut or bolt head
2 (Brit) informal a source of impediment or annoyance (esp. in the phrase throw a spanner in the works) (C17: from German, from spannen to stretch, span1)
n a spanner consisting of a steel cylinder with a hexagonal end that fits over a nut: used esp. to turn nuts in positions that are recessed or difficult of access
n a sickle-shaped spanner having a projection at the end of the curve, used for turning large narrow nuts that have an indentation into which the projection on the spanner fits
n (Austral. and N.Z.) an adjustable spanner, (Also called)
n a spanner having a torque-limiting mechanism which can be set to a predetermined value
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