wracks

wrack

1 [rak]
noun
1.
wreck or wreckage.
2.
damage or destruction: wrack and ruin.
3.
a trace of something destroyed: leaving not a wrack behind.
4.
seaweed or other vegetation cast on the shore.
verb (used with object)
5.
to wreck: He wracked his car up on the river road.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English wrak (noun), Old English wræc vengeance, misery, akin to wracu vengeance, misery, wrecan to wreak

Dictionary.com Unabridged

wrack

2 [rak]
noun, verb (used without object)
rack4.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
wrack or rack1 (ræk)
 
n
1.  collapse or destruction (esp in the phrase wrack and ruin)
2.  something destroyed or a remnant of such
 
vb
3.  a variant spelling of rack
 
usage  The use of the spelling wrack rather than rack in sentences such as she was wracked by grief or the country was wracked by civil war is very common but is thought by many people to be incorrect
 
rack or rack1
 
n
 
vb
 
usage  The use of the spelling wrack rather than rack in sentences such as she was wracked by grief or the country was wracked by civil war is very common but is thought by many people to be incorrect

wrack2 (ræk)
 
n
1.  seaweed or other marine vegetation that is floating in the sea or has been cast ashore
2.  any of various seaweeds of the genus Fucus, such as F. serratus (serrated wrack)
3.  literary, dialect or
 a.  a wreck or piece of wreckage
 b.  a remnant or fragment of something destroyed
 
[C14 (in the sense: a wrecked ship, wreckage, hence later applied to marine vegetation washed ashore): perhaps from Middle Dutch wrak wreckage; the term corresponds to Old English wræcwrack1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

wrack
late 14c., "wrecked ship," probably from M.Du. wrak "wreck," cognate with O.E. wræc "misery, punishment," and wrecan "to punish, drive out" (see wreak). The meaning "damage, disaster, destruction" (in wrack and ruin) is from c.1408, from the O.E. word. Sense of "seaweed,
etc., cast up on shore" is recorded from 1513. The verb meaning "to ruin or wreck" (originally of ships) is recorded from 1562, from earlier intrans. sense "to be shipwrecked" (1470). Often confused in this sense since 16c. with rack (1) in the verb sense of "to torture on the rack;" to wrack one's brains is thus erroneous.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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