Wreak Wreak, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Wreaked}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Wreaking}.] [OE. wrek?? to revenge, punish, drive out, AS. wrecan; akin to OFries. wreka, OS. wrekan to punish, D. wreken to avenge, G. r["a]chen, OHG. rehhan, Icel. reka to drive, to take vengeance, Goth. wrikan to persecute, Lith. vargas distress, vargti to suffer distress, L. urgere to drive, urge, Gr. ? to shut, Skr. ? to turn away. Cf. {Urge}, {Wreck}, {Wretch}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To revenge; to avenge. [Archaic] [1913 Webster]

He should wreake him on his foes. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Another's wrongs to wreak upon thyself. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Come wreak his loss, whom bootless ye complain. --Fairfax. [1913 Webster]

2. To execute in vengeance or passion; to inflict; to hurl or drive; as, to wreak vengeance on an enemy. [1913 Webster]

On me let Death wreak all his rage. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Now was the time to be avenged on his old enemy, to wreak a grudge of seventeen years. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

But gather all thy powers, And wreak them on the verse that thou dost weave. --Bryant. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

(as wrath or vengeance), , , , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • wreak — [ri:k] v past tense and past participle wreaked or wrought [ro:t US ro:t] [: Old English; Origin: wrecan to drive out, punish ] 1.) wreak havoc/mayhem/destruction (on sth) to cause a lot of damage or problems ▪ These policies have wreaked havoc… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • wreak — [ rik ] verb wreak havoc/destruction MAINLY JOURNALISM to cause very great harm or damage: These policies would wreak havoc on the economy. wreak revenge/vengeance MAINLY LITERARY to punish someone for something bad they have done to you …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Wreak — Wreak, n. [Cf. AS. wr[ae]c exile, persecution, misery. See {Wreak}, v. t.] Revenge; vengeance; furious passion; resentment. [Obs.] Shak. Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wreak — Wreak, v. i. To reck; to care. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wreak — wreak·ful; wreak; …   English syllables

  • wreak — is used in the expression wreak havoc (on). It is derived from an Old English verb meaning ‘to avenge’. The unrelated verb work is also used in this connection, with its archaic participial form wrought occasionally coming into service: • Moko,… …   Modern English usage

  • wreak — ► VERB 1) cause (a large amount of damage or harm). 2) inflict (vengeance). USAGE The past tense of wreak is wreaked, as in rainstorms wreaked havoc yesterday , not wrought. When wrought is used in the phrase wrought havoc, it is in fact an… …   English terms dictionary

  • wreak — index inflict Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • wreak — (v.) O.E. wrecan avenge, originally to drive, drive out, punish (class V strong verb; past tense wræc, pp. wrecen), from P.Gmc. *wrekanan (Cf. O.S. wrekan, O.N. reka, O.Fris. wreka, M.Du. wreken to drive, push, compel, pursue, throw, O.H.G.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • wreak — [v] force, cause bring about, carry out, create, effect, execute, exercise, force upon, inflict, unleash, vent, visit, work, wreck; concept 242 …   New thesaurus

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