1

wreck

noun \ ˈrek \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of wreck

1 :something cast up on the land by the sea especially after a shipwreck
2 a :shipwreck
b :the action of wrecking or fact or state of being wrecked :destruction
c :a violent and destructive crash
  • was injured in a car wreck
3 a :a hulk or the ruins of a wrecked ship
b :the broken remains of something wrecked or otherwise ruined
c :something disabled or in a state of ruin or dilapidation
  • the house was a wreck
; also :a person or animal of broken constitution, health, or spirits
  • he's a nervous wreck

Examples of wreck in a Sentence

  1. This car has never been in a wreck.

  2. The stress of her final exams made her a wreck.

  3. Dad was a nervous wreck on the day I had my surgery.

Recent Examples of wreck from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of wreck

Middle English wrec, wrek, borrowed from Anglo-French wrek & Medieval Latin wreccum, borrowed from Old Norse *wrek, rek, going back to *wrek-a- "something driven," derivative of Germanic *wrekan- "to drive out" — more at wreak


2

wreck

verb

Definition of wreck

transitive verb
1 :to cast ashore
2 a :to reduce to a ruinous state by or as if by violence
  • a country wrecked by war
  • ambition wrecked his marriage
c :to ruin, damage, or imperil by a wreck
  • wrecked the car
3 :bring about, wreak
  • wreck havoc
intransitive verb
1 :to become wrecked
2 :to rob, salvage, or repair wreckage or a wreck

Examples of wreck in a Sentence

  1. I wrecked my mother's car.

  2. Many houses were wrecked by the hurricane.

  3. The affair wrecked his marriage.

  4. Bad weather wrecked our vacation.

Recent Examples of wreck from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of wreck

Middle English wrekkyd (past participle), probably derivative of wrek 1wreck

wreck Synonyms

Synonyms
strand, shipwreck
Antonyms
build, construct, erect, put up, raise, rear, set up
Related Words
beach; founder; scuttle
Near Antonyms
recover, salvage


WRECK Defined for English Language Learners

wreck

noun

Definition of wreck for English Language Learners

  • : a vehicle, airplane, etc., that has been badly damaged or destroyed

  • : a ruined or destroyed ship

  • : an accident in which a car, airplane, train, etc., is badly damaged or destroyed


wreck

verb

Definition of wreck for English Language Learners

  • : to damage (something) so badly that it cannot be repaired

  • : to ruin or destroy (something)

  • : to destroy (a ship) by crashing it into something


WRECK Defined for Kids

1

wreck

noun \ ˈrek \

Definition of wreck for Students

1 :the remains (as of a ship or vehicle) after heavy damage usually by storm, collision, or fire
2 :a person who is very tired, ill, worried, or unhappy
  • I'm a nervous wreck.
3 :the action of damaging or destroying something
  • A lower speed limit will reduce wrecks.
4 :something in a state of ruin
  • The house is a wreck.

2

wreck

verb

Definition of wreck for Students

wrecked; wrecking
1 :to damage or destroy by or as if by force or violence
  • I wrecked my car.
2 :to bring to ruin or an end
  • Our picnic was wrecked by the rain.
3 :2shipwreck 2


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