- to inflict or execute (punishment, vengeance, etc.): They wreaked havoc on the enemy.
- to carry out the promptings of (one's rage, ill humor, will, desire, etc.), as on a victim or object: He wreaked his anger on the office staff.
Origin of wreak
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for wreaker
Full she drad that God the Wreaker all mankind would fordo with water for his evil sins.Ulysses
- to inflict (vengeance, etc) or to cause (chaos, etc)to wreak havoc on the enemy
- to express, or gratify (anger, hatred, etc)
- archaic to take vengeance for
Word Origin and History for wreaker
Old English wrecan "avenge," originally "to drive, drive out, punish" (class V strong verb; past tense wræc, past participle wrecen), from Proto-Germanic *wrekanan (cf. Old Saxon wrekan, Old Norse reka, Old Frisian wreka, Middle Dutch wreken "to drive, push, compel, pursue, throw," Old High German rehhan, German rächen "to avenge," Gothic wrikan "to persecute"), from PIE root *werg- "to work, to do" (cf. Lithuanian vergas "distress," vergas "slave;" Old Church Slavonic vragu "enemy;" Latin urgere; see urge (v.)). Meaning "inflict or take vengeance," with on, is recorded from late 15c.; that of "inflict or cause (damage or destruction)" is attested from 1817.