transitive verb Etymology: Middle English wreken, from Old English wrecan to drive, punish, avenge; akin to Old High German rehhan to avenge and perhaps to Latin urgēre to drive on, urge Date: before 12th century 1. a. archaic avenge b. to cause the infliction of (vengeance or punishment) 2. to give free play or course to (malevolent feeling) 3. bring about, cause <
wreak havoc

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

(as wrath or vengeance), , , , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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