Wreak meaning

rēk
(archaic, literary) Punishment; retribution; payback.
noun
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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.

verb
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To bring about (damage or destruction, for example).

Wreak havoc.

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To inflict (vengeance or punishment) upon a person.
verb
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To give vent to or act upon (one's feelings).
verb
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To take vengeance for; avenge.
verb
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To give vent or free play to (one's anger, malice, rage, etc.)
verb
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To inflict (vengeance), cause (harm or havoc), etc.
verb
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To avenge.
verb
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To cause, inflict or let out, especially if causing harm or injury.

The earthquake wreaked havoc in the city.

She wreaked her anger on his car.

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(archaic) To inflict or take vengeance on.
verb
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(archaic) To take vengeance for.
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(archaic, literary) Revenge; vengeance; furious passion; resentment.
noun
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Origin of wreak

  • Middle English wreken from Old English wrecan

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

  • 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