[ rek-er ]
See synonyms for: wreckerwreckers on Thesaurus.com

  1. a person or thing that wrecks.

  2. a person, car, or train employed in removing wreckage, debris, etc., as from railroad tracks.

  1. Also called tow car, tow truck. a vehicle equipped with a mechanical apparatus for hoisting and pulling, used to tow wrecked, disabled, or stalled automobiles.

  2. Also called housewrecker. a person whose business it is to demolish and remove houses or other buildings, as in clearing sites for other use.

  3. a person or vessel employed in recovering salvage from wrecked or disabled vessels.

  4. a person who plunders wrecks, especially after exhibiting false signals in order to cause shipwrecks.

Origin of wrecker

First recorded in 1795–1805; wreck + -er1

Words Nearby wrecker

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

How to use wrecker in a sentence

  • No; the vital defect of The wrecker must be set down to Mr. Stevenson's account.

    Adventures in Criticism | Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • It makes no difference whether Whitmore was a home-wrecker or a man of the utmost probity.

  • As our vessel was not noted for fast sailing, we accepted an invitation to go on board of a wrecker.

British Dictionary definitions for wrecker


/ (ˈrɛkə) /

  1. a person or thing that ruins or destroys

  2. mainly US and Canadian a person whose job is to demolish buildings or dismantle cars

  1. (formerly) a person who lures ships to destruction to plunder the wreckage

  2. US and Canadian another word for tow truck

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