What does wreak mean?

Definitions for wreak

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word wreak.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bring, work, play, wreak, make forverb

    cause to happen or to occur as a consequence

    "I cannot work a miracle"; "wreak havoc"; "bring comments"; "play a joke"; "The rain brought relief to the drought-stricken area"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Wreaknoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Fortune, mine avowed foe,
    Her wrathful wreaks themselves do now allay. Fa. Queen.

    Join with the Goths, and with revengeful war
    Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
    And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine. William Shakespeare, Tit. Andr.

    What and if
    His sorrows have so overwhelm’d his wits,
    Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
    His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness? William Shakespeare, Tit. Andr.

  2. To Wreakverb

    Old preterite and part. pass. of wroke.

    Etymology: wræcan , Saxon; wrecken, Dutch; recken, German.

    In an ill hour thy foes thee hither sent,
    Another’s wrongs to wreak upon thy self. Fairy Queen.

    Him all that while occasion did provoke
    Against Pyrocles, and new matter fram’d
    Upon the old, him stirring to be wroke
    Of his late wrongs. Fairy Queen.

    Pale death our valiant leader hath opprest,
    Come wreak his loss, whom bootless ye complain. Edward Fairfax.

    On me let death wreak all his rage. John Milton.

    He left the dame,
    Resolv’d to spare her life, and save her shame,
    But that detested object to remove,
    To wreck his vengeance, and to cure her love. Dryden.

    Think how you drove him hence, a wand’ring exile,
    To distant climes, then think what certain vengeance
    His rage may wreak on your unhappy orphan. Smith.

    Her husband scour’d away,
    To wreak his hunger on the destin’d prey. Alexander Pope.

    My master is of churlish disposition,
    And little wreaks to find the way to heav’n
    By doing deeds of hospitality. William Shakespeare, As you like it.


  1. wreak

    To wreak means to cause or inflict a large amount of damage, harm, or severe consequences. It can also refer to carrying out or executing something such as revenge or vengeance.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Wreakverb

    to reck; to care

  2. Wreakverb

    to revenge; to avenge

  3. Wreakverb

    to execute in vengeance or passion; to inflict; to hurl or drive; as, to wreak vengeance on an enemy

  4. Wreakverb

    revenge; vengeance; furious passion; resentment

  5. Etymology: [OE. wreken to revenge, punish, drive out, AS. wrecan; akin to OFries. wreka, OS. wrekan to punish, D. wreken to avenge, G. rchen, OHG. rehhan, Icel. reka to drive, to take vengeance, Goth. wrikan to persecute, Lith. vargas distress, vargti to suffer distress, L. urgere to drive, urge, Gr. e'i`rgein to shut, Skr. vj to turn away. Cf. Urge, Wreck, Wretch.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Wreak

    rēk, v.t. to inflict: avenge.—n. Wreak′er.—adjs. Wreak′ful, revengeful: angry; Wreak′less, unpunished. [A.S. wrecan, orig. to drive, and so to punish, avenge; Ice. reka, to drive, pursue, Ger. rächen; conn. with L. urgēre.]

  2. Wreak

    rēk, v.i. (Shak.). Same as Reck.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of wreak in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of wreak in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of wreak in a Sentence

  1. Clay Trauernicht:

    On tropical islands, fires have a unique set of impacts, first and foremost, fires were very rare prior to human arrival on any Pacific island. The vegetation, the native ecosystems, really evolved in the absence of frequent fires. And so when you do get these fires, they tend to kind of wreak havoc.

  2. Willie Rennie:

    You don't get independence on the basis of a crisis. You don't wreak chaos upon chaos.

  3. Selwin Hart:

    We fully understand the role that coal and other fossil fuels have played in Australia's economy, even if mining accounts for a small fraction — around 2 % — of overall jobs, but it's essential to have a broader, more honest and rational conversation about what is in Australia's interests, because the bottom line is clear : If the world does not rapidly phase out coal, climate change will wreak havoc right across the Australian economy, from agriculture to tourism, and right across the services sector. Similarly, construction, housing and the property sector, in a country where the vast majority live on or near a coastline. It will be even more catastrophic in your neighborhood.

  4. Bruce Sewell:

    Hackers and cyber criminals could use this to wreak havoc on our privacy and personal safety.

  5. Ralph Waldo Emerson,:

    There is a mortifying experience in particular, which does not fail to wreak itself also in the general history; I mean the foolish face of praise, the forced smile which we put on in company where we do not feel at ease in answer to conversation which does not interest us.

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Translations for wreak

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • يعيثArabic
  • auslassen, rächen, verursachenGerman
  • provocar, volcar, inflingir, vengarseSpanish
  • kurittaa, aiheuttaa, kohdistaaFinnish
  • melampiaskanIndonesian
  • provoca, a [[cauza]], [[varsa]] nerviiRomanian
  • мстить, причинять, наноситьRussian
  • hınç almak, hınç çıkarmak, intikam almak, almak, öç almak, çıkarmakTurkish

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"wreak." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 3 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/wreak>.

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    (of a flowering plant) having two cotyledons in the seed
    • A. lank
    • B. numinous
    • C. dicotyledonous
    • D. pecuniary

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