Rest or Wrest – Meaning & Difference

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Should you use rest or wrest in your sentence? Good question. These two homophones don’t often get mixed up, but when they do, it can create a ton of confusion in your writing. So, let’s iron out the details, shall we? I’ll teach you all about the difference between the word rest and wrest.

Rest vs. Wrest

Rest or Wrest Meaning Difference

Although “rest” and “wrest” sound similar, they have entirely different meanings. “Rest” is a verb that refers to taking a break, relaxing, or not moving. “Wrest,” on the other hand, is a verb that means to take something away by force or to struggle and fight to obtain something.

Rest Meanings

You can use the word “rest” as both a verb and a noun. As a verb, it means to relax, sleep, or take a break from an activity as well as the action to set something down.

  • Listen, you need to rest after all that running.
  • Just rest that box on top of the others.

As a noun, it means a period of relaxation or a peaceful state of mind, like getting a good night‘s rest.

Wrest Meaning

“Wrest” is also a verb (never a noun), meaning to take something away from someone with force, like wrestling it away. In fact, you can almost always use the word wrestle or wrestling in place of wrest.

It can also mean struggling and fighting to gain something, like wresting with your boss to earn a promotion you know you deserve but he’s on the fence about.

Synonyms for Rest

  • Relaxation
  • Repose
  • Break
  • Relief
  • Leisure
  • Inactivity
  • Calm
  • Set down

Synonyms for Wrest

  • Seize
  • Grasp
  • Wrestle
  • Struggle
  • Fight
  • Overpower
  • Take by force

Using Wrest in a Sentence

Rest or Wrest Meaning Difference 1

You can see here in these sentences how you could swap the word “wrest” for “wrestle” or “wrestled.”

  • I can’t believe he tried to wrest the gun from the robber’s hand; he could have been killed.
  • My mother had to wrest ultimate control of the company away from her horrible business partner before they ruined everything.
  • The rebel forces were able to wrest control of the city from the government in this book I’m reading.
  • He gained partial control, wrested (wrestled) his opponent to the ground, and won the match.

Rest Examples in a Sentence

  • After a long day at work, I need to rest and recharge with a glass of wine and some trash T.V.
  • I like to rest on the weekends to catch up on the sleep I miss during the week with parenting and working two jobs.
  • I’m tired of talking about this, just put it to rest!
  • I need complete rest with eight hours of sleep to start my day.
  • After my hernia surgery, the doctor advised me to rest for a few days.
  • I know it’s not for everyone, but I find rest in meditation and yoga.
  • Don’t rest that cup on top of my computer!
  • I want to be cremated for my eternal rest.

Let’s Put This to Rest

So, that’s all on this pair of homophones! I hope that clears up any confusion you might have had. Just remember that “rest” is both a noun and a verb, and “wrest” is another way of saying wrestle or fight with. Also, “wrest” isn’t as common as you might think, and you can often use “wrestle” in place of it.