wreak

[ reek ]
/ rik /

verb (used with object)

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

before 900; Middle English wreken, Old English wrecan; cognate with German rächen to avenge, Old Norse reka to drive, avenge, Gothic wrikan to persecute; akin to Latin urgēre to drive, push

Related forms

wreak·er, noun

Can be confused

rack wrack wreak wreckracked wracked wreaked wrecked
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wreak

British Dictionary definitions for wreak

wreak

/ (riːk) /

verb (tr)

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

Derived Forms

wreaker, noun

Word Origin for wreak

Old English wrecan; related to Old Frisian wreka, Old High German rehhan (German rächen), Old Norse reka, Latin urgēre to push

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