is used in the expression wreak havoc (on). It is derived from an Old English verb meaning ‘to avenge’. The unrelated verb work is also used in this connection, with its archaic participial form wrought occasionally coming into service:

• Moko, the banana disease, has already wreaked havoc on the trade —Times, 1983

• A series of worms and viruses has wrought havoc on Windows PCs —Business Pundit, AmE 2004.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую
(as wrath or vengeance), , , , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wreak — Wreak, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Wreaked}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Wreaking}.] [OE. wrek?? to revenge, punish, drive out, AS. wrecan; akin to OFries. wreka, OS. wrekan to punish, D. wreken to avenge, G. r[ a]chen, OHG. rehhan, Icel. reka to drive, to take… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wreak — [ri:k] v past tense and past participle wreaked or wrought [ro:t US ro:t] [: Old English; Origin: wrecan to drive out, punish ] 1.) wreak havoc/mayhem/destruction (on sth) to cause a lot of damage or problems ▪ These policies have wreaked havoc… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • wreak — [ rik ] verb wreak havoc/destruction MAINLY JOURNALISM to cause very great harm or damage: These policies would wreak havoc on the economy. wreak revenge/vengeance MAINLY LITERARY to punish someone for something bad they have done to you …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Wreak — Wreak, n. [Cf. AS. wr[ae]c exile, persecution, misery. See {Wreak}, v. t.] Revenge; vengeance; furious passion; resentment. [Obs.] Shak. Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wreak — Wreak, v. i. To reck; to care. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wreak — wreak·ful; wreak; …   English syllables

  • wreak — ► VERB 1) cause (a large amount of damage or harm). 2) inflict (vengeance). USAGE The past tense of wreak is wreaked, as in rainstorms wreaked havoc yesterday , not wrought. When wrought is used in the phrase wrought havoc, it is in fact an… …   English terms dictionary

  • wreak´er — wreak «reek», transitive verb. 1. to give expression to; work off (feelings, desires, or the like): »The cruel boy wreaked his bad temper on his dog. 2. to inflict (vengeance or punishment): »Till vengeance had been wreaked for the wrongs… …   Useful english dictionary

  • wreak — index inflict Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • wreak — (v.) O.E. wrecan avenge, originally to drive, drive out, punish (class V strong verb; past tense wræc, pp. wrecen), from P.Gmc. *wrekanan (Cf. O.S. wrekan, O.N. reka, O.Fris. wreka, M.Du. wreken to drive, push, compel, pursue, throw, O.H.G.… …   Etymology dictionary

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