- Wreak is to cause or inflict damage, harm or revenge.
When you cause significant damage, this is an example of a time when you wreak havoc.
wreak definition by Webster's New World
- to give vent or free play to (one's anger, malice, rage, etc.)
- to inflict (vengeance), cause (harm or havoc), etc.
- Archaic to avenge
Origin: Middle English wreken ; from Old English wrecan, to revenge, punish, akin to German rächen, Gothic wrikan ; from Indo-European base an unverified form wreg-, to shove, oppress, hunt down, Classical Latin urgere, to press, urge
- wreaker noun
wreak definition by American Heritage Dictionary
transitive verb wreaked, wreak·ing, wreaks
- To inflict (vengeance or punishment) upon a person.
- To express or gratify (anger, malevolence, or resentment); vent.
- To bring about; cause: wreak havoc.
- Archaic To take vengeance for; avenge.
Origin: Middle English wreken, from Old English wrecan.Usage Note: Wreak is sometimes confused with wreck, perhaps because the wreaking of damage may leave a wreck: The storm wreaked (not wrecked ) havoc along the coast. The past tense and past participle of wreak is wreaked, not wrought, which is an alternative past tense and past participle of work.