verb (used with object), hav·ocked, hav·ock·ing.
verb (used without object), hav·ocked, hav·ock·ing.
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Idioms for havoc
- to create confusion or disorder in: The wind played havoc with the papers on the desk.
- to destroy; ruin: The bad weather played havoc with our vacation plans.
Origin of havoc
synonym study for havoc
OTHER WORDS FROM havochav·ock·er, noun
Words nearby havoc
What does havoc mean?
Havoc means chaos, disorder, or confusion. It can also mean destruction, damage, or ruin. In many cases, it refers to a combination of these things.
Havoc is associated with seriously destructive and chaotic situations, such as natural disasters, as in The hurricane caused havoc throughout the region. But it can be used in a range of situations. An illness can wreakhavoc on your body. A virus can cause havoc in a computer network. The wind can wreak havoc on your hair. In most cases, havoc causes a situation that was (at least somewhat) orderly to become disorderly, especially when there is damage or destruction involved.
The phrase cry havoc means to raise an alarm or give a warning.
Havoc can be used as a verb meaning to cause havoc or destroy, but this is rare.
Example: A major accident on the highway has wreaked havoc on the morning commute, causing traffic jams and delays for miles around.
Where does havoc come from?
The first records of the word havoc come from around the 1400s. It comes from the Old French havot, meaning “to pillage” (to violently loot and plunder a place, especially during a war). In Anglo-French, the spelling havok was used in the phrase crier havok, meaning “to cry havoc.” This refers to the practice of a military commander shouting “Havoc!” as a command to start pillaging.
Shakespeare uses it this way in Julius Caesar: “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.” Eventually, cry havoc took on a new meaning: “to sound the alarm” (typically as a warning when something destructive is about to happen). Today, havoc is no longer closely associated with pillaging, but the chaos and destruction that happen when an invading army pillages a place is a perfect example of havoc.
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What are some other forms related to havoc?
- havocked (past tense verb)
- havocking (continuous tense verb)
- havocker (noun)
What are some synonyms for havoc?
What are some words that share a root or word element with havoc?
What are some words that often get used in discussing havoc?
How is havoc used in real life?
Havoc is used in the context of situations that involve chaos, destruction, and often both.
A fast-moving Hurricane Zeta is barreling northeast after causing havoc along the coast. https://t.co/OnOPmRuOmD
— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) October 29, 2020
Imagine a world where Windows updates didn’t wreak havoc on your audio settings
— Patrick Smith 🅙 (@TheSmithPlays) October 27, 2020
Election season can wreak havoc on our nerves. How are you coping with anxiety right now?
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) October 27, 2020
Try using havoc!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of havoc?
Example sentences from the Web for havoc
Those ejections can wreak havoc on satellites or power grids when they strike Earth.Check out the first-ever map of the solar corona’s magnetic field|Lisa Grossman|August 21, 2020|Science News
In addition to the market chaos that’s played havoc with returns this year, the investor has been dragged into a political debacle over the appointment of its new CEO, hedge-fund manager Nicolai Tangen.The world’s largest wealth fund has lost $21 billion so far this year|kdunn6|August 18, 2020|Fortune
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on small businesses while at at the same time accelerated consumers’ shift to digital and the business need for digital transformation.Social Shorts: TikTok’s future, Quora lead-gen ads, Facebook’s India plans|Ginny Marvin|August 3, 2020|Search Engine Land
On defense, Bonga creates havoc with both steals and blocks, and the Wizards play more like a competent NBA defense with him on the court, a huge bonus for the league’s worst defensive team.The Players To Watch On The NBA Teams Just Trying To Hang Around|Neil Paine (email@example.com)|July 30, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
The expanded postseason has given them another path to make the playoffs — and a chance to create havoc once there.The Winners And Losers In MLB’s New Playoff Format|Neil Paine (firstname.lastname@example.org)|July 24, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
Earlier that day, officials say, Stone went on a bloody rampage killing six of his kin and wreaking havoc in three small towns.
In the later stages of the war, the American-made Stinger missile was introduced and wreaked havoc among the Soviet helicopters.
The mother also made a plea to the violent ones who wreak such havoc.11 Children Shot in Milwaukee, One in Her Grandpa's Lap|Michael Daly|November 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
By the time the maids got back from the shore, peacocks had wrecked havoc on the waiting food.
The Fox miniseries 24: Live Another Day saw a massive drone wreak havoc on London.Ethan Hawke's 'Good Kill': A Searing Indictment of America's Drone Warfare Obsession|Marlow Stern|September 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They must be kept away from flies—a fly can work havoc with a film in a few minutes.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
The laughing happy country girl—what havoc a few hours has made in that gay warm heart!The World Before Them|Susanna Moodie
I have known them arrive in early autumn, and do great havoc amongst the apples, which they cut up to get at the pips.Birds of Guernsey (1879)|Cecil Smith
Their borders you have wasted, and you have made great havoc in the land, and have got the dominion of many places in my kingdom.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various
But, before the equinox, disease began to make fearful havoc in the little community.The History of England from the Accession of James II.|Thomas Babington Macaulay
British Dictionary definitions for havoc
verb -ocs, -ocking or -ocked
Word Origin for havoc
Idioms and Phrases with havoc
see cry havoc; play havoc.