Wreak Definition

wreaked, wreaking, wreaks
wreaked, wreaking, wreaks
To bring about (damage or destruction, for example).
Wreak havoc.
American Heritage
To give vent or free play to (one's anger, malice, rage, etc.)
Webster's New World
To inflict (vengeance), cause (harm or havoc), etc.
Webster's New World
To avenge.
Webster's New World
(archaic) To take vengeance for.

(archaic, literary) Revenge; vengeance; furious passion; resentment.


(archaic, literary) Punishment; retribution; payback.


Origin of Wreak

  • Old English wrecan, from Proto-Germanic *wrekanÄ…, from root *wrek-, from Proto-Indo-European *wreg- (“work, do"). Cognate via Proto-Germanic with Dutch wreken, German rächen, Swedish vräka; cognate via PIE with Latin urgere (English urge), and distantly cognate to English wreck.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English wreke, wrake, Northern Middle English variants of wreche, influenced later by Etymology 1, above. Compare Dutch wraak.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English wreken from Old English wrecan

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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