shipwreck

1 of 2

noun

ship·​wreck ˈship-ˌrek How to pronounce shipwreck (audio)
1
: a wrecked ship or its parts
2
: the destruction or loss of a ship
3
: an irretrievable loss or failure

shipwreck

2 of 2

verb

shipwrecked; shipwrecking; shipwrecks

transitive verb

1
a
: to cause to experience shipwreck
b
: ruin
2
: to destroy (a ship) by grounding or foundering

Example Sentences

Noun Only a few sailors survived the shipwreck. The crew narrowly avoided shipwreck. Divers searched the sunken shipwreck. Verb the yachtsman fell asleep at the wheel and shipwrecked his ketch on the rocks
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Scientists have made remarkable findings this year in the field of archeology. From researchers exploring the inside of a shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean to discovering a new dinosaur species, 2022 produced fascinating discoveries. Teddy Grant, ABC News, 22 Dec. 2022 The discovery of the shipwreck and its treasures is not without drama. CBS News, 1 Dec. 2022 The division is perhaps best represented by the image of the shipwreck, so picturesque to the interloper and so catastrophic to the native. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 Nation/World Charles McGimsey, Louisiana’s state archaeologist, felt unsurprised but disappointed when someone stole a piece of a shipwreck that recently emerged from the Mississippi River. Maham Javaid, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Nov. 2022 The crown jewel of a centuries-old shipwreck is going under the gavel this winter. Dana Givens, Robb Report, 2 Nov. 2022 Charles McGimsey, Louisiana’s state archaeologist, felt unsurprised but disappointed when someone stole a piece of a shipwreck that recently emerged from the Mississippi River. Maham Javaid, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 All the question marks surrounding recovery means the museum must decide what’s best for the future of the shipwreck. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 27 Oct. 2022 El Vencedor is the location of a shipwreck (a tuna trawler sunk in the early 1980’s), and is known to have bull sharks all year round. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022
Verb
Beeker takes an expansive approach to shipwreck preservation. Michael Bawaya, Discover Magazine, 29 Apr. 2015 In the 1960s, diver Mel Fisher and his team uncovered the Santa Margarita shipwreck off the coast of Florida, and in 1985, Fisher and the divers uncovered the main hull of the Atocha—and its remarkable treasure. Town & Country, 11 Nov. 2022 Prominent historians and shipwreck experts in Michigan doubt the Liberts' claim. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, 11 May 2022 Sirens, as King reminds us, symbolized what earlier times regarded as the destructive sexuality of women: These enticing sweet singers lured the unwary to shipwreck, then clawed their bodies to pieces. Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2021 For sandy beaches and legendary surf conditions, to historic lighthouses, shipwreck diving sites, and wild horses, the Outer Banks is a unique East Coast beach vacation. Hannah Lee Leidy, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 May 2021 After a storm shipwrecked them, they were miraculously saved by a boat heading to the Bahamas — exactly the place where Sarah’s super evil dad Ward (Charles Esten) sent John B.’s gold. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, 8 May 2020 The valley—after the water returns to the steep-sided channel—is hard to cross, all sucking mud and shipwrecked trees in a prairie that is accustomed to being dry and treeless. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, 16 Apr. 2020 The gorgeous 2018 card game Shipwreck Arcana is a great example of a cooperative survival game: To win, at least one person must survive being shipwrecked. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 18 Nov. 2019 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

alteration of earlier shipwrack, from Middle English schipwrak, from Old English scipwræc, from scip ship + wræc something driven by the sea — more at wrack

First Known Use

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of shipwreck was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near shipwreck

Cite this Entry

“Shipwreck.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shipwreck. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

shipwreck

1 of 2 noun
ship·​wreck -ˌrek How to pronounce shipwreck (audio)
1
: a wrecked ship
2
: the destruction or loss of a ship

shipwreck

2 of 2 verb
1
: to cause to experience shipwreck
a storm that shipwrecked the sailors
2
: to destroy (a ship) by driving ashore or sinking

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