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The past participle of Middle English werken (to work), from Old English wyrcan (past tense worhte, past participle geworht), from Proto-Germanic *wurkijaną (to work), from Proto-Indo-European *werǵ- (to work). Cognate with wright (as in wheelwright etc.), Dutch gewrocht, archaic past participle of werken (archaic past tense wrocht, archaic past part. gewrocht), Low German wracht, archaic past participle of warken (archaic past tense wrach, archaic past part. wracht).



wrought (comparative more wrought, superlative most wrought)

  1. Having been worked or prepared somehow.
    Is that fence made out of wrought iron?


Derived terms[edit]




  1. simple past tense and past participle of work
    • 2013 June 29, “High and wet”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 28:
      Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale. The early, intense onset of the monsoon on June 14th swelled rivers, washing away roads, bridges, hotels and even whole villages. Rock-filled torrents smashed vehicles and homes, burying victims under rubble and sludge.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In modern English, wrought is usually not interchangeable with worked, the more common contemporary past and past participle of work.
  • Wrought often lends a more archaic flavor.
  • The separation of wrought from work has also occurred because while work can be either intransitive or transitive, it is more commonly intransitive, and wrought is transitive only.
  • Because the phrase "work havoc" has become uncommon in modern English, its past tense "wrought havoc" is sometimes misinterpreted as being a past tense of "wreak havoc".

Derived terms[edit]