wreck

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Middle English wrek, from Anglo-Norman wrek, from Old Norse *wrek (Norwegian and Icelandic rek, Swedish vrak), from Proto-Germanic *wrekaną, whence also Old English wrecan (English wreak), Old High German rehhan, Old Saxon wrekan, Gothic 𐍅𐍂𐌹𐌺𐌰𐌽 (wrikan).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: rĕk, IPA(key): /ˈɹɛk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛk

Noun[edit]

wreck (plural wrecks)

  1. Something or someone that has been ruined.
    He was an emotional wreck after the death of his wife.
    Synonym: basket case, mess
  2. The remains of something that has been severely damaged or worn down.
    • (Can we date this quote by Cowper and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      To the fair haven of my native home, / The wreck of what I was, fatigued I come.
  3. An event in which something is damaged through collision.
    • (Can we date this quote by Addison and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      the wreck of matter and the crush of worlds
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote by J. R. Green and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Its intellectual life was thus able to go on amidst the wreck of its political life.
  4. (law) Goods, etc. cast ashore by the sea after a shipwreck.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bouvier to this entry?)

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Verb[edit]

wreck (third-person singular simple present wrecks, present participle wrecking, simple past and past participle wrecked)

  1. To destroy violently; to cause severe damage to something, to a point where it no longer works, or is useless.
    He wrecked the car in a collision.
    That adulterous hussy wrecked my marriage!
  2. To ruin or dilapidate.
  3. (Australia) To dismantle wrecked vehicles or other objects, to reclaim any useful parts.
  4. To involve in a wreck; hence, to cause to suffer ruin; to balk of success, and bring disaster on.
    • (Can we date this quote by Daniel and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Weak and envied, if they should conspire, / They wreck themselves.

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