verb \ˈrēk also ˈrek\

: to cause (something very harmful or damaging)

Full Definition of WREAK

transitive verb
a archaic :  avenge
b :  to cause the infliction of (vengeance or punishment)
:  to give free play or course to (malevolent feeling)
:  bring about, cause <wreak havoc>

Examples of WREAK

  1. Gangs have been wreaking mayhem in the city.

Origin of WREAK

Middle English wreken, from Old English wrecan to drive, punish, avenge; akin to Old High German rehhan to avenge and perhaps to Latin urgēre to drive on, urge
First Known Use: before 12th century
WREAK Defined for Kids


verb \ˈrēk\

Definition of WREAK for Kids

:  to bring down as or as if punishment <The storm wreaked destruction.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: wreakfulPrevious Word in the Dictionary: wraxleAll Words Near: wreak
July 03, 2015
interpellate Hear it
to formally question a public official
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears