Old English wræstan "to twist, wrench," from Proto-Germanic *wraistjan (source of Old Norse reista "to bend, twist"), from *wreik- "to turn," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." 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.