AskDefine | Define wreck

The Collaborative Dictionary

Wreck \Wreck\, v. t. & n. See 2d & 3d Wreak. [1913 Webster]
Wreck \Wreck\, n. [OE. wrak, AS. wr[ae]c 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.] [Written also wrack.] [1913 Webster]
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. [1913 Webster] Hard and obstinate As is a rock amidst the raging floods, 'Gainst which a ship, of succor desolate, Doth suffer wreck, both of herself and goods. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]
Destruction or injury of anything, especially by violence; ruin; as, the wreck of a railroad train. [1913 Webster] The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds. --Addison. [1913 Webster] Its intellectual life was thus able to go on amidst the wreck of its political life. --J. R. Green. [1913 Webster]
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. [1913 Webster]
The remain of anything ruined or fatally injured. [1913 Webster] To the fair haven of my native home, The wreck of what I was, fatigued I come. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]
(Law) Goods, etc., which, after a shipwreck, are cast upon the land by the sea. --Bouvier. [1913 Webster]
Wreck \Wreck\, v. i.
To suffer wreck or ruin. --Milton. [1913 Webster]
To work upon a wreck, as in saving property or lives, or in plundering. [1913 Webster]
Wreck \Wreck\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Wrecked; p. pr. & vb. n. Wrecking.] [1913 Webster]
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. [1913 Webster] Supposing that they saw the king's ship wrecked. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
To bring wreck or ruin upon by any kind of violence; to destroy, as a railroad train. [1913 Webster]
To involve in a wreck; hence, to cause to suffer ruin; to balk of success, and bring disaster on. [1913 Webster] Weak and envied, if they should conspire, They wreck themselves. --Daniel. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 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 an accident that destroys a ship at sea [syn: shipwreck]
3 a serious accident (usually involving one or more vehicles); "they are still investigating the crash of the TWA plane" [syn: crash]
4 a ship that has been destroyed at sea v : smash or break forcefully; "The kid busted up the car" [syn: bust up, wrack]

Moby Thesaurus

accident, assault, atomize, attack, auto, autocar, automobile, bankrupt, barbarize, batter, beach, blight, bloodbath, blow, blue ruin, boat, botch, break to pieces, breakdown, breaking up, breakup, bring to ruin, brutalize, bugger, buggy, burn, bus, butcher, calamity, car, carcass, carnage, carry on, cast away, casualty, cataclysm, catastrophe, cave, cave-in, cleave, collapse, collision, condemn, confound, consume, consumption, contretemps, crack-up, crash, crate, cripple, damn, damnation, de-energize, deal destruction, debacle, debilitate, decimate, decimation, demolish, depredate, depredation, desolate, desolation, despoil, despoilment, despoliation, destroy, destruction, devastate, devastation, devour, dilapidate, disable, disassemble, disaster, disenable, disintegrate, disintegration, dismantle, disorganization, disruption, dissolution, dissolve, do in, dog, drain, enfeeble, engorge, force, fragment, go on, gobble, gobble up, grief, ground, gut, gut with fire, hammer, hamstring, havoc, heap, hecatomb, holocaust, hors de combat, hulk, ill hap, impose, inactivate, incapacitate, incinerate, jalopy, kibosh, lame, lay in ruins, lay waste, loot, machine, maim, make mincemeat of, mar, maul, mere wreck, misadventure, mischance, misfortune, mishap, motor, motor vehicle, motorcar, motorized vehicle, mug, nasty blow, nervous wreck, perdition, pick to pieces, pile up, pileup, pillage, play havoc with, plunder, pull in pieces, pull to pieces, pulverize, put, queer, queer the works, rage, ramp, rampage, rant, rape, rattletrap, ravage, rave, raze, reduce to rubble, rend, riot, roar, ruin, ruinate, ruination, ruins, run aground, sabotage, sack, savage, shambles, shatter, shipwreck, shock, skeleton, slaughter, smash, smashup, sow chaos, spike, split, spoil, spoliation, staggering blow, storm, strand, subvert, sunder, swallow up, take apart, take the ground, tear, tear apart, tear around, tear to pieces, tear to shreds, tear to tatters, terrorize, throw into disorder, total, total loss, tragedy, trash, tub, unbuild, undermine, undo, undoing, unfit, unleash destruction, unleash the hurricane, unmake, upheave, vandalism, vandalize, vaporize, violate, visit, voiture, washout, waste, weaken, wheels, wing, wrack, wrack and ruin, wrack up, wreak, wreak havoc



wrek from Old English wrec


  • /ˈɹɛk/, /"rEk/
  • Rhymes: -ɛk


  1. The remains of something that has been severely damaged or worn down.
  2. An event in which something is damaged through collision.


  • Arabic:
  • Chinese: 碰撞 (pèngzhuàng)
  • Dutch: botsing
  • Finnish: törmäys, yhteentörmäys
  • French: collision
  • German: Zusammenstoß
  • Hebrew: גרוטאה
  • Italian: collisione
  • Japanese: 残がい (ざんがい, zangai)
  • Korean: 충돌 (chungdol)
  • Portuguese: choque
  • Russian: авария
  • Spanish: choque
  • Swedish: sammanstötning



  1. 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")
  2. To ruin or dilapidate.
  3. To dismantle wrecked vehicles or other objects, to reclaim any useful parts. (Australia)


to cause severe damage
  • Finnish: tuhota, särkeä, romuttaa
to ruin
  • Finnish: tuhota, särkeä
to dismantle wrecked objects
  • Finnish: romuttaa


Derived terms

Wreck may refer to:
  • A collision of an automobile, aircraft or other vehicle
  • Shipwreck, the remains of a ship after a crisis at sea
  • Receiver of Wreck, an official of the British government whose main task is to process incoming reports of wreck
  • Rambling Wreck, a car that leads the Georgia Tech football team onto the field prior to every game in Bobby Dodd Stadium
  • WREK (FM), a radio station at Georgia Tech, named after the car
  • In ornithology, an event where large numbers of seabirds are driven inland due to adverse weather
  • Wreck, To totally Dominate an opponent, slang used in the Southwest of Texas
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