What does wreck mean?

Definitions for wreck

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. wrecknoun

    something or someone that has suffered ruin or dilapidation

    "the house was a wreck when they bought it"; "thanks to that quack I am a human wreck"

  2. shipwreck, wrecknoun

    an accident that destroys a ship at sea

  3. crash, wrecknoun

    a serious accident (usually involving one or more vehicles)

    "they are still investigating the crash of the TWA plane"

  4. wreckverb

    a ship that has been destroyed at sea

  5. bust up, wreck, wrackverb

    smash or break forcefully

    "The kid busted up the car"


  1. wrecknoun

    Something or someone that has been ruined.

  2. wrecknoun

    The remains of something that has been severely damaged or worn down.

  3. wrecknoun

    An event in which something is damaged through collision.

  4. wreckverb

    To cause severe damage to something, to a point where it no longer works, or is useless.

    (Usage: A collision is often implied as the cause of the damage - "He wrecked the car")

  5. wreckverb

    To ruin or dilapidate.

  6. wreckverb

    To dismantle wrecked vehicles or other objects, to reclaim any useful parts. (Australia)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Wrecknoun

    Etymology: wræcce , Saxon, a miserable person; wracke, Dutch, a ship broken.

    Fair be ye sure; but hard and obstinate,
    As is a rock amidst the raging floods;
    ’Gainst which a ship, of succour desolate,
    Doth suffer wreck both of herself and goods. Edmund Spenser.

    Like those that see their wreck
    Ev’n on the rocks of death; and yet they strain,
    That death may not them idly find t’ attend
    To their uncertain task, but work to meet their end. Daniel.

    Think not that flying fame reports my fate;
    I present, I appear, and my own wreck relate. Dryden.

    Not only Paradise,
    In this commotion, but the starry cope
    Had gone to wreck. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    Whether he was
    Combin’d with Norway, or did line the rebel
    With hidden help and vantage; or that with both
    He labour’d in his country’s wreck, I know not. William Shakespeare.

    He cry’d as raging seas are wont to roar,
    When wintry storm his wrathful wreck doth threat. Edmund Spenser.

  2. To Wreckverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Have there been any more such tempests, wherein she hath wretchedly been wrecked? Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    A pilot’s thumb,
    Wreck’d as homeward he did come. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    The coral found growing upon wrecked ships and lost anchors, that are daily dragged up out of the sea, demonstrates that coral continues to be formed to this day. John Woodward.

    Weak and envy’d, if they should conspire,
    They wreck themselves, and he hath his desire. Daniel.

    Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
    And each hour’s joy wreck’d with a week of teen. William Shakespeare.

    I faint! I die! the goddess cry’d:
    O cruel, could’st thou find none other
    To wreck thy spleen on? Parricide!
    Like Nero, thou hast slain thy mother. Matthew Prior.

  3. To Wreckverb

    To suffer wreck.

    With manlier objects we must try
    His constancy, with such as have more shew
    Of worth, of honour, glory, and popular praise,
    Rocks whereon greatest men have often wreck’d. John Milton.


  1. wreck

    A wreck generally refers to a damaged or destroyed object, vehicle, or situation, often as the result of an accident or incident. It can also refer to a ship that has been sunk or destroyed at sea. Additionally, "wreck" can also be used as a verb, meaning to cause the destruction or damage of something.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Wreck

    see 2d & 3d Wreak

  2. Wreckverb

    the destruction or injury of a vessel by being cast on shore, or on rocks, or by being disabled or sunk by the force of winds or waves; shipwreck

  3. Wreckverb

    destruction or injury of anything, especially by violence; ruin; as, the wreck of a railroad train

  4. Wreckverb

    the ruins of a ship stranded; a ship dashed against rocks or land, and broken, or otherwise rendered useless, by violence and fracture; as, they burned the wreck

  5. Wreckverb

    the remain of anything ruined or fatally injured

  6. Wreckverb

    goods, etc., which, after a shipwreck, are cast upon the land by the sea

  7. Wreckverb

    to destroy, disable, or seriously damage, as a vessel, by driving it against the shore or on rocks, by causing it to become unseaworthy, to founder, or the like; to shipwreck

  8. Wreckverb

    to bring wreck or ruin upon by any kind of violence; to destroy, as a railroad train

  9. Wreckverb

    to involve in a wreck; hence, to cause to suffer ruin; to balk of success, and bring disaster on

  10. Wreckverb

    to suffer wreck or ruin

  11. Wreckverb

    to work upon a wreck, as in saving property or lives, or in plundering

  12. Etymology: [OE. wrak, AS. wrc exile, persecution, misery, from wrecan to drive out, punish; akin to D. wrak, adj., damaged, brittle, n., a wreck, wraken to reject, throw off, Icel. rek a thing drifted ashore, Sw. vrak refuse, a wreck, Dan. vrag. See Wreak, v. t., and cf. Wrack a marine plant.]


  1. Wreck

    Wreck was an indie rock band formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1988, and later based in Chicago. After releasing three albums the band split up in the mid-1990s, with singer/guitarist Dean Schlabowske going on to found The Waco Brothers.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Wreck

    rek, n. destruction: destruction of a ship: ruins of a destroyed ship: remains of anything ruined: shipwrecked property.—v.t. to destroy or disable: to ruin.—v.i. to suffer wreck or ruin.—ns. Wreck′age, the act of wrecking: wrecked material; Wreck′er, a person who purposely causes a wreck or who plunders wreckage: one who lures a ship on to the rocks for purposes of plunder: one who criminally ruins anything: a person employed by the owners in recovering disabled vessels or their cargo.—adj. Wreck′ful, causing ruin.—n. Wreck′-mas′ter, a person taking charge of a disabled ship and its cargo.—Wreck commissioners, a tribunal which inquires into shipping disasters.—Receivers of wrecks, wreck-masters. [A.S. wræc, expulsion—wrecan, to drive, Low Ger. wrak, Dut. wrak, Ice. reki, a thing drifted ashore; a doublet of wrack.]

  2. Wreck

    rek, n. (Spens.) same as Wreak.—v.t. (Milt.) to wreak.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. wreck

    The destruction of a ship by stress of weather, rocks, &c.; also the ruins of the ship after such accidents; also the goods and fragments which drive on shore after a ship is stranded. It is said that the term is derived from the sea-weed called wrack, denoting all that the sea washes on shore as it does this weed. A ship cast on shore is no wreck, in law, when any domestic animal has escaped with life in her. The custody of the cargo or goods belongs to the deputy of the vice-admiral, and they are restored to the proprietors without any fees or salvage, but what the labour of those who saved them may reasonably deserve.

Rap Dictionary

  1. wreckverb

    To accomplish something.

  2. wreckverb

    To destroy or break up. "All they wanted to do is wreck and flex" -- Public Enemy (Burn Hollywood, burn).

  3. wreckverb

    To show great freestyling skills.

  4. wreckverb

    To have rough sex with - "Man, she got wrecked!"

Suggested Resources

  1. wreck

    Song lyrics by wreck -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by wreck on the Lyrics.com website.

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How to pronounce wreck?

How to say wreck in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of wreck in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of wreck in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of wreck in a Sentence

  1. Heather Humphreys:

    On current evidence, the other two wreck sites remain buried beneath a protective layer of sand, but the wreck of La Juliana is now partly exposed on the seabed along with some of its guns and other wreck material, this material is obviously very historically and archaeologically significant.

  2. Teri Nicklin of ScottishPowers Renewables:

    It was a really special day. We were looking for wrecks, but what we found was a huge wreck that didn't appear in any of the charts.

  3. Amnesty International Director:

    This latest episode highlights the risks of returning asylum seekers to Turkey – and the knock-on effects the deal is likely to have for refugees transiting through Turkey. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

  4. Mo Brooks:

    If you had a car wreck and you hit somebody and it was your fault, you'd be expected to reimburse the injured party for the damages suffered, it should be no different with respect to China.

  5. Andrew Bates:

    President Donald Trump ran as a disruptor, as the change candidate. But President Donald Trump performance in office has been an absolute train wreck -- now nearly 90,000 Americans have lost their lives and over 30 million have lost their jobs, that makes Trump Biden the change candidate. Trump Biden represents change because the whole country recognizes the urgent need to restore competence to the Oval Office.

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Translations for wreck

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"wreck." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/wreck>.

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    a sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow)
    • A. whitewash
    • B. muddle
    • C. wavering
    • D. jab

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