wreak was our Word of the Day on 07/25/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of wreak in a Sentence
Gangs have been wreaking mayhem in the city.
Recent Examples of wreak from the Web
But what are the chances of another torrential rainstorm like the one last year that wreaked havoc on the festival's last day?
Government opponents say the post-coup purge has wreaked havoc on Turkish society.
In his freshman highlight tape (embedded below and linked here) Kinsler consistently wreaks havoc as a speed rusher off the edge.
Indeed, the U.S. has few options in dealing with North Korea: most of them expected to result in a North Korean military response that could wreak havoc on South Korea, Japan, and U.S. military assets in the region.
The weevil can wreak havoc on date palms, Canary Island date palms, coconut palms, African oil palms, sago palms and Washingtonia fan palms.
The wild storm that wreaked havoc on the Tri-Cities this week apparently spared cherries, blueberries and other crops in the region.
But then Hamilton drew a leadoff walk and wreaked havoc on Brewers reliever Corey Knebel.
Matt Misheck, Oak Forest, senior, right-side hitter: Conference player of the year wreaked havoc with 326 kills and 43 aces to lead the Bengals to the league title. Misheck, a lefty, was skilled enough to put balls away with either hand.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wreak.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Wreak is a venerable word that first appeared in Old English as wrecan, meaning "to drive, drive out, punish, or avenge." "Wrecan" is related to a number of similar words in the Germanic languages, including Middle Dutch "wreken" ("to punish, avenge"), Old High German rehhan ("to avenge"), Old Norse "reka" ("to drive, push, or avenge"), and Gothic "wrikan" ("to persecute"). It may also be related to Latin urgēre ("to drive on, urge"), the source of the English verb "urge." In modern English, vengeance is a common object of the verb "wreak," reflecting one of its earlier uses in the sense "to take vengeance for" - as when Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus proclaims "We will solicit heaven, and move the gods / To send down Justice for to wreak our wrongs."
Origin and Etymology of wreak
Middle English wreken, from Old English wrecan to drive, punish, avenge; akin to Old High German rehhan to avenge and perhaps to Latin urgēre to drive on, urge
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
WREAK Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of wreak for English Language Learners
: to cause (something very harmful or damaging)
WREAK Defined for Kids
Definition of wreak for Students
: to bring down as or as if punishment The storm wreaked destruction.
Seen and Heard
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