from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The destruction of a ship, as by storm or collision.
  • n. The remains of a wrecked ship.
  • n. A complete failure or ruin.
  • transitive v. Nautical To cause a ship to be destroyed, as by storm or collision.
  • transitive v. Nautical To cause (a passenger or sailor on a ship) to suffer shipwreck.
  • transitive v. To ruin utterly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A boat that has sunk or run aground so that it is no longer seaworthy.
  • n. An event where a ship sinks or runs aground.
  • v. To wreck a boat through a collision or mishap.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The breaking in pieces, or shattering, of a ship or other vessel by being cast ashore or driven against rocks, shoals, etc., by the violence of the winds and waves.
  • n. A ship wrecked or destroyed upon the water, or the parts of such a ship; wreckage.
  • n. Fig.: Destruction; ruin; irretrievable loss.
  • transitive v. To destroy, as a ship at sea, by running ashore or on rocks or sandbanks, or by the force of wind and waves in a tempest.
  • transitive v. To cause to experience shipwreck, as sailors or passengers. Hence, to cause to suffer some disaster or loss; to destroy or ruin, as if by shipwreck; to wreck.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wreck; subject to the perils and distress of shipwreck.
  • To wreck; ruin; destroy.
  • n. The destruction or loss of a vessel by foundering at sea, by striking on a rock or shoal, or the like; the wreck of a ship.
  • n. Total failure; destruction; ruin.
  • n. Shattered remains, as of a vessel which has been wrecked; wreck; wreckage.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an accident that destroys a ship at sea
  • v. cause to experience shipwreck
  • n. an irretrievable loss
  • v. destroy a ship
  • v. suffer failure, as in some enterprise
  • v. ruin utterly
  • n. a wrecked ship (or a part of one)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English schip-wracke, from Old English scipwræc ("jetsam"), equivalent to ship +‎ wrack. Cognate with Scots schip-wrak ("to shipwreck", v), Swedish skeppsvrak ("shipwreck").



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  • "Only that which cannot be lost in a shipwreck is yours."

    - al-Ghazzali, quoted in in Llewellyan Vaughan-Lee, 'Travelling the Path of Love'.

    November 3, 2008

  • One of my most enduring memories is of exploring the dunes along North Carolina's Outer Banks and finding partially buried wooden shipwrecks, which we were certain were pirate ships. See Free Association.

    February 7, 2008