havoc

1 of 2

noun

hav·​oc ˈha-vək How to pronounce havoc (audio)
-vik
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

2 of 2

verb

havocked; havocking

transitive verb

: to lay waste : destroy

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
Fighting a family affair While Colgan finished up a recent workout with something that resembled headstand pushups, wife Teslin smiled as the couple’s sons Quentin (three) and Kanan (one) caused havoc on an adjacent wrestling mat. Troy Renck, The Denver Post, 16 June 2024 This weekend, Governors Ball returned to Flushing Meadows Corona Park to wreak further havoc (complimentary — mostly) on an already busy 2024 for pop. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 10 June 2024 Severe thunderstorms have been extremely destructive, with hail wreaking havoc across the central US. Ella Nilsen, CNN, 10 June 2024 Forty years ago, somebody didn’t follow the very strict and very clear rules about their new pet, unleashing havoc in the process. John Russell, Peoplemag, 8 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for havoc 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'havoc.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

Verb

derivative of havoc entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1575, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near havoc

Cite this Entry

“Havoc.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/havoc. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

havoc

noun
hav·​oc
ˈhav-ək
1
: wide and general destruction
havoc caused by a tornado
2
: great confusion and disorder

More from Merriam-Webster on havoc

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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