Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[reek] /rik/
verb (used with object)
to inflict or execute (punishment, vengeance, etc.):
They wreaked havoc on the enemy.
to carry out the promptings of (one's rage, ill humor, will, desire, etc.), as on a victim or object:
He wreaked his anger on the office staff.
Origin of wreak
before 900; Middle English wreken, Old English wrecan; cognate with German rächen to avenge, Old Norse reka to drive, avenge, Gothic wrikan to persecute; akin to Latin urgēre to drive, push
Related forms
wreaker, noun
Can be confused
rack, wrack, wreak, wreck.
racked, wracked, wreaked, wrecked.
1. visit, vent, unleash. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for wreaked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With that smile, the haughty Spirit passed away, and the law's last indignity was wreaked upon a breathless corpse!

    Eugene Aram, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I could have wreaked a cruel vengeance upon the body for the sin of the mind.

    The Return Of The Soul Robert S. Hichens
  • Vengeance can still be wreaked—forgiveness may still be won.

    Cleopatra H. Rider Haggard
  • The curse of Welford's vengeance was on her, and it was wreaked to the last!

    Paul Clifford, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • It was clear that the malignant fever which accompanies the disease had wreaked its worst on him.

    Hilda Wade Grant Allen
British Dictionary definitions for wreaked


verb (transitive)
to inflict (vengeance, etc) or to cause (chaos, etc): to wreak havoc on the enemy
to express, or gratify (anger, hatred, etc)
(archaic) to take vengeance for
Derived Forms
wreaker, noun
Word Origin
Old English wrecan; related to Old Frisian wreka, Old High German rehhan (German rächen), Old Norse reka, Latin urgēre to push
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for wreaked



Old English wrecan "avenge," originally "to drive, drive out, punish" (class V strong verb; past tense wræc, past participle wrecen), from Proto-Germanic *wrekanan (cf. Old Saxon wrekan, Old Norse reka, Old Frisian wreka, Middle Dutch wreken "to drive, push, compel, pursue, throw," Old High German rehhan, German rächen "to avenge," Gothic wrikan "to persecute"), from PIE root *werg- "to work, to do" (cf. Lithuanian vergas "distress," vergas "slave;" Old Church Slavonic vragu "enemy;" Latin urgere; see urge (v.)). Meaning "inflict or take vengeance," with on, is recorded from late 15c.; that of "inflict or cause (damage or destruction)" is attested from 1817.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for wreaked

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for wreaked