9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[rek] /rɛk/
any building, structure, or thing reduced to a state of ruin.
wreckage, goods, etc., remaining above water after a shipwreck, especially when cast ashore.
the ruin or destruction of a vessel in the course of navigation; shipwreck.
a vessel in a state of ruin from disaster at sea, on rocks, etc.
the ruin or destruction of anything:
the wreck of one's hopes.
a person of ruined health; someone in bad shape physically or mentally:
The strain of his work left him a wreck.
verb (used with object)
to cause the wreck of (a vessel); shipwreck.
to involve in a wreck.
to cause the ruin or destruction of:
to wreck a car.
to tear down; demolish:
to wreck a building.
to ruin or impair severely:
Fast living wrecked their health.
verb (used without object)
to be involved in a wreck; become wrecked:
The trains wrecked at the crossing.
to act as a wrecker; engage in wrecking.
Origin of wreck
1200-50; (noun) Middle English wrec, wrech, wrek < Old Danish wrækæ wreck; (v.) late Middle English, derivative of the noun
Related forms
unwrecked, adjective
Can be confused
rack, wrack, wreak, wreck.
racked, wracked, wreaked, wrecked.
9. destroy, devastate, shatter. See spoil. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wreck
  • Mooring buoys have been placed at the wreck site to protect it from anchor damage.
  • We felt compelled to follow up in each of those instances, and it turned out to be every bit as eye-opening as a train wreck.
  • Genetically modified crops will neither feed the world nor wreck the planet.
  • We stand admiring it as it is now, a beautiful wreck beneath an ivy veil.
  • If you do, you will be a total wreck every time the market goes down.
  • The wreck site is said to be unusual, because it's in shallow water near the coast.
  • High winds can wreck the flowers and increase transpiration from the leaves, making frequent watering necessary.
  • My friend is becoming a wreck after putting so much effort.
  • But that may not be all that's valuable about the wreck.
  • And by many accounts, if you're in a wreck and you don't have insurance, you simply don't get billed.
British Dictionary definitions for wreck


to involve in or suffer disaster or destruction
(transitive) to cause the wreck of (a ship)
  1. the accidental destruction of a ship at sea
  2. the ship so destroyed
(maritime law) goods cast ashore from a wrecked vessel
a person or thing that has suffered ruin or dilapidation
the remains of something that has been destroyed
(old-fashioned) the act of wrecking or the state of being wrecked; ruin or destruction
Word Origin
C13: from Scandinavian; compare Icelandic rek. See wrack², wreak
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
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Word Origin and History for wreck

early 13c., "goods cast ashore after a shipwreck, flotsam," from Anglo-French wrec, from Old Norse *wrek (cf. Norwegian, Icelandic rek) "wreck, flotsam," related to reka "to drive, push" (see wreak). The meaning "a shipwreck" is first recorded mid-15c.; that of "a wrecked ship" is from c.1500. General sense of "remains of anything that has been ruined" is recorded from 1713; applied by 1795 to dissipated persons.


"to destroy, ruin," c.1500, from wreck (n.). Related: Wrecked; wrecking. Earlier (12c.) it meant "drive out or away, remove;" also "take vengeance."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for wreck



A completion; a final treatment, summary,etc; recap: This is the 11:30 pm wrap-up of the news (1950s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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