the destruction or loss of a ship, as by sinking.
the remains of a wrecked ship.
destruction or ruin: the shipwreck of one's hopes.

verb (used with object)

to cause to suffer shipwreck.
to destroy; ruin.

verb (used without object)

to suffer shipwreck.

Origin of shipwreck

before 1100; Middle English shipwrech remains of a shipwreck; see ship1, wreck; replacing Old English scipwræc (see wrack1) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for shipwrecked

wrecked, stranded, reefed, marooned, grounded

Examples from the Web for shipwrecked

Contemporary Examples of shipwrecked

Historical Examples of shipwrecked

  • But the fate of shipwrecked mariners all over the world is notorious.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • It was as if we were abandoned, shipwrecked, a thousand miles from land.

    The Flood

    Emile Zola

  • I was shipwrecked once and spent two days in a boat looking for a sail.

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • They are shipwrecked and a strange mix-up occurs on account of it.

  • Dan scanned the sea like a shipwrecked mariner watching for a sail.

British Dictionary definitions for shipwrecked



the partial or total destruction of a ship at sea
a wrecked ship or part of such a ship
ruin or destructionthe shipwreck of all my hopes

verb (tr)

to wreck or destroy (a ship)
to bring to ruin or destruction

Word Origin for shipwreck

Old English scipwræc, from ship + wræc something driven by the sea; see wrack ²
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

Word Origin and History for shipwrecked



mid-15c., from ship (n.) + wreck (n.). Earlier it meant "things cast up from a shipwreck" (c.1100). The earlier word for "shipwreck" in the modern sense was Middle English schipbreke, "'ship-break,'" from a North Sea Germanic word, cf. West Frisian skipbrek, Middle Dutch schipbroke, German Schiffbruch, Old English scipgebroc. Old English scipbryce meant "right to claim goods from a wrecked ship."



1580s, "cause to wreck;" c.1600, "to suffer shipwreck," from shipwreck (n.). Related: Shipwrecked.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper