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havoc

[hav-uh k] /ˈhæv ək/
noun
1.
great destruction or devastation; ruinous damage.
verb (used with object), havocked, havocking.
2.
to work havoc upon; devastate.
verb (used without object), havocked, havocking.
3.
to work havoc:
The fire havocked throughout the house.
Idioms
4.
cry havoc, to warn of danger or disaster.
5.
play havoc with,
  1. to create confusion or disorder in:
    The wind played havoc with the papers on the desk.
  2. to destroy; ruin:
    The bad weather played havoc with our vacation plans.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English havok < Anglo-French (in phrase crier havok to cry havoc, i.e., utter the command havoc! as signal for pillaging), Middle French havot in same sense < Germanic
Related forms
havocker, noun
Synonyms
1. desolation, waste. See ruin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for havocking

havoc

/ˈhævək/
noun
1.
destruction; devastation; ruin
2.
(informal) confusion; chaos
3.
(archaic) cry havoc, to give the signal for pillage and destruction
4.
(often foll by with) play havoc, to cause a great deal of damage, distress, or confusion (to)
verb -ocs, -ocking, -ocked
5.
(transitive) (archaic) to lay waste
Word Origin
C15: from Old French havot pillage, probably of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for havocking

havoc

n.

early 15c., from Anglo-French havok in phrase crier havok "cry havoc" (late 14c.), a signal to soldiers to seize plunder, from Old French havot "pillaging, looting," related to haver "to seize, grasp," hef "hook," probably from a Germanic source (see hawk (n.)), or from Latin habere "to have, possess." General sense of "devastation" first recorded late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with havocking
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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