[ rek ]
See synonyms for: wreckwreckedwrecking on Thesaurus.com

  1. any building, structure, or thing reduced to a state of ruin.

  2. wreckage, goods, etc., remaining above water after a shipwreck, especially when cast ashore.

  1. the ruin or destruction of a vessel in the course of navigation; shipwreck.

  2. a vessel in a state of ruin from disaster at sea, on rocks, etc.

  3. the ruin or destruction of anything: the wreck of one's hopes.

  4. a person of ruined health; someone in bad shape physically or mentally: The strain of his work left him a wreck.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause the wreck of (a vessel); shipwreck.

  2. to involve in a wreck.

  1. to cause the ruin or destruction of: to wreck a car.

  2. to tear down; demolish: to wreck a building.

  3. to ruin or impair severely: Fast living wrecked their health.

verb (used without object)
  1. to be involved in a wreck; become wrecked: The trains wrecked at the crossing.

  2. to act as a wrecker; engage in wrecking.

Origin of wreck

First recorded in 1200–50; (noun) Middle English wrec, wrech, wrek, from Old Danish wrækæ “wreck”; (verb) late Middle English, derivative of the noun

synonym study For wreck

9. See spoil.

Other words for wreck

Other words from wreck

  • un·wrecked, adjective

Words that may be confused with wreck

Words Nearby wreck

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use wreck in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wreck


/ (rɛk) /

  1. to involve in or suffer disaster or destruction

  2. (tr) to cause the wreck of (a ship)

    • the accidental destruction of a ship at sea

    • the ship so destroyed

  1. maritime law goods cast ashore from a wrecked vessel

  1. a person or thing that has suffered ruin or dilapidation

  2. the remains of something that has been destroyed

  3. old-fashioned the act of wrecking or the state of being wrecked; ruin or destruction

Origin of wreck

C13: from Scandinavian; compare Icelandic rek. See wrack ², wreak

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