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

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 Inside the body, lead can slip into human cells easily and wreak havoc. Julia Belluz, Vox, "The Trump administration’s attack on children’s health protections," 27 Sep. 2018 When a team banks enough motes (25 and 50), a portal opens, and one player can jump through to the other team’s map to wreak havoc. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "Destiny 2: Forsaken review: Hallelujah, Destiny’s back," 19 Sep. 2018 This pain usually wreaks havoc on the same side of your face and head instead of spreading out. Korin Miller, SELF, "When to See a Doctor About Those Persistent Headaches," 29 Aug. 2018 And yet, a student with horrible intentions still managed to wreak havoc. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "What Littleton Learned," 1 Aug. 2018 Earwigs can also wreak havoc outside of the garden because they're attracted to moist areas around and inside homes. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Control Earwigs in Your Garden and Keep Them From Getting in Your House," 27 July 2018 The aftermath of Florence continues to wreak havoc on the Carolinas, bringing record flooding to many areas. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Don’t Forget About the Victims of Hurricane Florence," 18 Sep. 2018 All that time without treatment means the undiagnosed diabetes can quietly wreak havoc, eventually causing problems like blurred vision and nerve damage, reports the Mayo Clinic. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "What's the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?," 10 Sep. 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

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

Verb

see havoc entry 1

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Learn More about havoc

Dictionary Entries near havoc

Havirov

havlagah

havna

havoc

haw

Hawaii

Hawaii-Aleutian time

Statistics for havoc

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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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