shipwreck

noun
ship·​wreck | \ ˈship-ˌrek How to pronounce shipwreck (audio) \

Definition of shipwreck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a wrecked ship or its parts
2 : the destruction or loss of a ship
3 : an irretrievable loss or failure

shipwreck

verb
shipwrecked; shipwrecking; shipwrecks

Definition of shipwreck (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

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Synonyms for shipwreck

Synonyms: Noun

shipwrecking, wreck, wreckage, wrecking

Synonyms: Verb

strand, wreck

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Examples of shipwreck in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But thieves have been known to scour the bottom of the sea for scrap metal, typically targeting shipwrecks. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Huge Underwater Observatory Has Vanished Without a Trace," 6 Sep. 2019 Learn the story of Jacob Reisinger’s shipwreck off the coast of New Jersey and eventual settlement in Liverpool. Sam Boyer, cleveland.com, "Take a walk through history in Medina County’s Valley City," 5 Sep. 2019 The migrants — who were picked up by Open Arms from three shipwrecks off Libya in early August — at one time numbered over 160 on the rescue vessel. New York Times, "After Desperate Migrants Jump Ship, Italy Allows Rescue Vessel to Dock," 20 Aug. 2019 And so when Parks Canada set out again in search of the shipwrecks in the late 2000s, Inuit researchers led the way. Meagan Flynn, Anchorage Daily News, "A doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic killed 129 men. Now the ship’s artifacts have been found ‘frozen in time.’," 29 Aug. 2019 The assistance of the area’s fishers ended up helping archaeologists discover 23 shipwrecks in the area in 22 days. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How underwater archaeology reveals hidden wonders," 2 Aug. 2019 During a nine-day expedition conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), scientists onboard the R/V Point Sur discovered two unexplored shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "NOAA researchers discover two unexplored shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico," 30 July 2019 An international team of researchers, including experts from the University of Southampton and MMT, has also discovered more than 65 shipwrecks in the Black Sea, many of which date back to ancient times. Fox News, "Stunningly well preserved 500-year-old Columbus-era shipwreck revealed: 'It’s almost like it sank yesterday'," 23 July 2019 During one of her first times at the helm, her ship picked up 45 bodies floating in the sea from a shipwreck. Washington Post, "German captain who outraged Italian leader pushes limits," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Both involve figures of the commedia dell’arte: Pierrot and Scapin are the protagonists of the Gluck, shipwrecked and looking for girls; in the Ullmann, Harlekin is a pragmatic Everyman. Washington Post, "At Wolf Trap Opera, Gluck and Ullman make for strange bedfellows," 27 June 2019 In the beginning of the play, Miranda is charmed by the human beings shipwrecked on her island. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Puzzled by Westworld? Look to Shakespeare.," 26 June 2018 And watching with delight, cozied up in one of the old theater seats that dot the Globe’s outdoor Davies stage, is Kate Burton as Prospera, the sorcerer who has whipped up this tempest to shipwreck and bring rough justice to some old foes. James Hebert, sandiegouniontribune.com, "'Tempest' a satisfying whirl of wit and wizardry at Old Globe," 24 June 2018 Jamie and Claire saved him—only to then shipwreck in Colonial Georgia, which is where season four will pick up. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Good News: There’s a Lot More Outlander in Your Future," 9 May 2018 The ordinariness of his tale and its unexceptional heroes—Ananda and his uncle Radhesh, an avatar for Odysseus—implies that, in the end, everyone is wandering and shipwrecked. The Economist, "In times of crisis, writers turn to Homer," 26 Apr. 2018 It was shipwrecked in North Carolina, where it is believed that the ship's crew engaged in fierce battle in 1718 with volunteers from the British Royal Navy who killed Blackbeard. Yelena Dzhanova, NBC News, "Blackbeard may have been an avid reader, discovery suggests," 15 Jan. 2018 What if they were shipwrecked on an island and popped out Baby Tarzan? Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "The Craziest Movie Fan Theories on the Internet," 1 May 2017 And watching with delight, cozied up in one of the old theater seats that dot the Globe’s outdoor Davies stage, is Kate Burton as Prospera, the sorcerer who has whipped up this tempest to shipwreck and bring rough justice to some old foes. James Hebert, sandiegouniontribune.com, "'Tempest' a satisfying whirl of wit and wizardry at Old Globe," 24 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of shipwreck

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shipwreck

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

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Dictionary Entries near shipwreck

shipt

shipway

shipworm

shipwreck

shipwright

ship writ

shipyard

Statistics for shipwreck

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shipwreck

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

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More Definitions for shipwreck

shipwreck

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shipwreck

: the destruction or sinking of a ship at sea
: a ruined or destroyed ship

shipwreck

noun
ship·​wreck | \ ˈship-ˌrek How to pronounce shipwreck (audio) \

Kids Definition of shipwreck

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a ruined or destroyed ship Divers explored the shipwreck.
2 : the loss or destruction of a ship Only a few sailors survived the shipwreck.

shipwreck

verb
shipwrecked; shipwrecking

Kids Definition of shipwreck (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cause to experience destruction of a ship and usually be left stranded The crew was shipwrecked.
2 : to ruin or destroy (a ship) by crashing ashore or sinking

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Comments on shipwreck

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