havoc

1 of 2

noun

hav·​oc ˈha-vək How to pronounce havoc (audio)
-vik
1
: wide and general destruction : devastation
A tornado wreaked havoc on the town two years ago.
2
: great confusion and disorder
the blackout caused havoc in the city

havoc

2 of 2

verb

havocked; havocking

transitive verb

: to lay waste : destroy

Example Sentences

Noun The disease can play havoc with the body's immune system. Several small children can create havoc in a house.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Who doesn't love a movie about a loveable dog who starts to wreak havoc everywhere, including the dinner table? Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, 22 Nov. 2022 With all the hot and sharp objects in an engine bay, auto repair can wreak havoc on your hands. Talon Homer, Popular Mechanics, 18 Nov. 2022 Monopolies wreak havoc on consumers and our economy. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 17 Nov. 2022 Monopolies wreak havoc on consumers and our economy. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 17 Nov. 2022 Monopolies wreak havoc on consumers and our economy. Rafi Schwartz, The Week, 16 Nov. 2022 These flares can often wreak havoc on our technology and satellites, causing crashes, issues with GPS, and more. Joshua Hawkins fell in love with writing and technology at a young age. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 15 Nov. 2022 The bracelets, necklaces and anklets can also wreak havoc at airports and doctors’ offices—and elicit raised eyebrows from those who don’t understand the appeal. Rachel Wolfe, WSJ, 14 Nov. 2022 There are two Logan Cunninghams in the league, which can wreak havoc on a spreadsheet. Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, 11 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English havok, from Anglo-French, modification of Old French havot plunder

Verb

derivative of havoc entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1575, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of havoc was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near havoc

Cite this Entry

“Havoc.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/havoc. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

havoc

noun

hav·​oc
ˈhav-ək
1
: wide and general destruction
havoc caused by a tornado
2
: great confusion and disorder

More from Merriam-Webster on havoc

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