Old English wrist, from Proto-Germanic *wristiz (source also of Old Norse rist "instep," Old Frisian wrist, Middle Dutch wrist, German Rist "back of the hand, instep"), from *wreik- "to turn," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." The notion is "the turning joint." Wrist-watch is from 1889. Wrist-band is from 1570s as a part of a sleeve, 1969 as a perspiration absorber.
The meaning "to pull, detach" (something) is recorded from c. 1300. Meaning "to take by force" (in reference to power, authority, etc.) is attested from early 15c. Related: Wrested; wresting.
Proto-Indo-European root forming words meaning "to turn, bend."
It forms all or part of: adverse; anniversary; avert; awry; controversy; converge; converse (adj.) "exact opposite;" convert; diverge; divert; evert; extroversion; extrovert; gaiter; introrse; introvert; invert; inward; malversation; obverse; peevish; pervert; prose; raphe; reverberate; revert; rhabdomancy; rhapsody; rhombus; ribald; sinistrorse; stalwart; subvert; tergiversate; transverse; universe; verbena; verge (v.1) "tend, incline;" vermeil; vermicelli; vermicular; vermiform; vermin; versatile; verse (n.) "poetry;" version; verst; versus; vertebra; vertex; vertigo; vervain; vortex; -ward; warp; weird; worm; worry; worth (adj.) "significant, valuable, of value;" worth (v.) "to come to be;" wrangle; wrap; wrath; wreath; wrench; wrest; wrestle; wriggle; wring; wrinkle; wrist; writhe; wrong; wroth; wry.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vartate "turns round, rolls;" Avestan varet- "to turn;" Hittite hurki- "wheel;" Greek rhatane "stirrer, ladle;" Latin vertere (frequentative versare) "to turn, turn back, be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed," versus "turned toward or against;" Old Church Slavonic vrŭteti "to turn, roll," Russian vreteno "spindle, distaff;" Lithuanian verčiu, versti "to turn;" German werden, Old English weorðan "to become;" Old English -weard "toward," originally "turned toward," weorthan "to befall," wyrd "fate, destiny," literally "what befalls one;" Welsh gwerthyd "spindle, distaff;" Old Irish frith "against."
"of or pertaining to the wrist," 1743, from Modern Latin carpalis, from carpus "wrist" (see carpus). Carpal tunnel syndrome attested by 1970, from carpal tunnel (1896), the tunnel-like passage that carries nerves through the wrist.