havoc

[ hav-uhk ]
/ ˈhæv ək /

noun

great destruction or devastation; ruinous damage.

verb (used with object), hav·ocked, hav·ock·ing.

to work havoc upon; devastate.

verb (used without object), hav·ocked, hav·ock·ing.

to work havoc: The fire havocked throughout the house.

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Idioms for havoc

    cry havoc, to warn of danger or disaster.
    play havoc with,
    1. to create confusion or disorder in: The wind played havoc with the papers on the desk.
    2. to destroy; ruin: The bad weather played havoc with our vacation plans.

Origin of havoc

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English havok, from Anglo-French (in phrase crier havok “to cry havoc,” i.e., “utter the command havoc!” as signal for pillaging), Middle French havot in same sense, from Germanic

synonym study for havoc

1. See ruin.

OTHER WORDS FROM havoc

hav·ock·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for havoc

British Dictionary definitions for havoc

havoc
/ (ˈhævək) /

noun

destruction; devastation; ruin
informal confusion; chaos
cry havoc archaic to give the signal for pillage and destruction
play havoc (often foll by with) to cause a great deal of damage, distress, or confusion (to)

verb -ocs, -ocking or -ocked

(tr) archaic to lay waste

Word Origin for havoc

C15: from Old French havot pillage, probably of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with havoc

havoc

see cry havoc; play havoc.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.