havoc

noun
hav·​oc | \ ˈha-vək, -vik\

Definition of havoc

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : wide and general destruction : devastation A tornado wreaked havoc on the town two years ago.
2 : great confusion and disorder the blackout caused havoc in the city

havoc

verb
havocked; havocking

Definition of havoc (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to lay waste : destroy

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Examples of havoc in a Sentence

Noun

The disease can play havoc with the body's immune system. Several small children can create havoc in a house.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Consumers care about ingredients and are making a conscious effort to pay close attention to harmful chemicals commonly found in makeup products that could be wreaking havoc on their skin. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "7 All-Natural Makeup Brands With Products That Are Actually Amazing," 14 Jan. 2019 Universal Pictures To be sure, there are a few scenes in which the movie overcomes this setup, to say something real about how expectations based on race, class, and identity can wreak havoc on a person’s soul. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Green Book builds a feel-good comedy atop an artifact of shameful segregation. Yikes.," 7 Jan. 2019 Unlike traditional makeup products, mineral makeup lines are free of dyes, and fragrances that can wreak havoc on fussy skin. Talia Abbas, SELF, "How to Get Rid of Blackheads on Your Nose, Chin and Forehead," 28 Dec. 2018 Archie's vigilante group turned mafia squad goes a little crazy when Hiram starts paying them to wreak havoc on Riverdale, including slashing tires and setting fires on the Southside. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Comprehensive List of All of Hiram Lodge's Schemes on "Riverdale"," 13 Dec. 2018 These tariffs have already wreaked havoc on American businesses that use aluminum and steel to produce everything from automobiles to beer kegs and baseball bats. David Mcintosh, WSJ, "No New Nafta Until Tariffs Have Been Lifted," 9 Dec. 2018 Gizmo is a nice pet, until of course one of those things happen and the gremlins wreak havoc on an entire town the night before Christmas. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The Best '80s Horror Movies That Are Still Terrifying Today," 23 Oct. 2018 Brad Plumer wrote for Vox about what happens when the sun erupts and sends space weather our way to wreak havoc on Earth. Brian Resnick, Vox, "A brief scientific guide to the first day of spring.," 20 Sep. 2018 Even beneath all of biking's protective gear, a day of pore-clogging dust and sweat and hydration-sapping wind wreaks havoc on your complexion. Mackenzie Wagoner, Glamour, "7 Motorcyclists on Deep-Cleaning Face Washes They Swear By," 18 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So asking other states for help before Maria, which might have lined up resources for Puerto Rico more quickly, would have been an expensive undertaking without knowing for sure what havoc the storm would wreak. Patricia Mazzei And Omaya Sosa Pascual, miamiherald, "How a slow response hurt Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria | Miami Herald," 19 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'havoc.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of havoc

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1575, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for havoc

Noun and Verb

Middle English havok, from Anglo-French, modification of Old French havot plunder

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Dictionary Entries near havoc

Havirov

havlagah

havna

havoc

haw

Hawaii

Hawaii-Aleutian time

Statistics for havoc

Last Updated

22 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for havoc

The first known use of havoc was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for havoc

havoc

noun

English Language Learners Definition of havoc

: a situation in which there is much destruction or confusion

havoc

noun
hav·​oc | \ ˈha-vək \

Kids Definition of havoc

1 : wide destruction The storm wreaked havoc.
2 : great confusion and lack of order My young nephews caused havoc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on havoc

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for havoc

Spanish Central: Translation of havoc

Nglish: Translation of havoc for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of havoc for Arabic Speakers

Comments on havoc

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