wreck·​age | \ ˈre-kij How to pronounce wreckage (audio) \

Definition of wreckage

1 : the act of wrecking : the state of being wrecked
2a : something that has been wrecked
b : broken and disordered parts or material from something wrecked

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Examples of wreckage in a Sentence

Workers sifted through the wreckage of the building, searching for bodies. They cleared the wreckage from the track.

Recent Examples on the Web

Following the fatal New Hampshire crash, a federal inspector spent more than two hours examining the wreckage, the report said. Laura Crimaldi, BostonGlobe.com, "Truck driver was on drugs, reaching for drink at time of fatal New Hampshire crash, report says," 1 Aug. 2019 In the photo above, the vehicle is sitting amid bridge wreckage, just to the right of the falling water. Scott Harrison, Los Angeles Times, "From the Archives: 1924 collapse of bridge over Arroyo Seco," 1 Aug. 2019 But here’s the most sobering part: Earth Overshoot Day is probably a vast underestimation of the actual level of unsustainable planetary wreckage, and the scientists behind the numbers are the first to admit it. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Earth Overshoot Day is earlier than ever this year—and it underestimates the crisis," 27 July 2019 On Thursday, the British Conservative Party took another step toward making Boris Johnson, Member of Parliament and instrument of wreckage, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Here Comes Boris Johnson!," 21 June 2019 First responders found an 18-year-old man with gunshot wounds among the wreckage, as well as evidence of a shooting in addition to the crashed cars, and pronounced the man dead at the scene. Gwendolyn Wu, SFChronicle.com, "18-year-old man killed, two teen boys injured in Fairfield shootings," 19 June 2019 The wreckage of the plane was incinerated in a post-crash fire, said Clint Johnson, NTSB Alaska chief. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Four dead in plane crash near Girdwood witnessed by elite Alaskan skiers on nearby glacier," 6 Aug. 2019 Germany’s Wolfgang Tillmans went to Lampedusa, an island between Malta and Tunisia, to film the wreckage of migrant boats that didn’t survive the Mediterranean. oregonlive.com, "Wordless terror and the world’s refugees: Steve Duin," 2 Aug. 2019 Wead is played by Ford’s favorite tragic hero, John Wayne—and Ford doesn’t stint on the tragedy, the physical agony and the wreckage of family life that are central to the hero’s experience. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Review: Quentin Tarantino’s Obscenely Regressive Vision of the Sixties in “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood”," 27 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wreckage.' 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 wreckage

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near wreckage

wreath shell







Statistics for wreckage

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wreckage

The first known use of wreckage was in 1837

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More Definitions for wreckage



English Language Learners Definition of wreckage

: the broken parts of a vehicle, building, etc., that has been badly damaged or destroyed


wreck·​age | \ ˈre-kij How to pronounce wreckage (audio) \

Kids Definition of wreckage

1 : the remains of a wreck I therefore set out … to search for whatever wreckage the waves had washed ashore.— Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins
2 : the act of wrecking : the state of being wrecked

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More from Merriam-Webster on wreckage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wreckage

Spanish Central: Translation of wreckage

Nglish: Translation of wreckage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wreckage for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wreckage

What made you want to look up wreckage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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