Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To bring about (damage or destruction, for example).
  • transitive verb To inflict (vengeance or punishment) upon a person.
  • transitive verb To give vent to or act upon (one's feelings).
  • transitive verb Archaic To take vengeance for; avenge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To revenge; avenge: with either the offense or the person offended as the object.
  • To execute; inflict: as, to wreak vengeance on an enemy.
  • An erroneous spelling of reck.
  • noun Revenge; vengeance; furious passion; resentment.
  • noun Punishment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To reck; to care.
  • transitive verb Archaic To revenge; to avenge.
  • transitive verb To execute in vengeance or passion; to inflict; to hurl or drive.
  • noun obsolete Revenge; vengeance; furious passion; resentment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete Punishment; retribution, revenge.
  • verb transitive To cause, inflict or let out, especially if causing harm or injury.
  • verb archaic To inflict or take vengeance on.

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

  • verb cause to happen or to occur as a consequence

Etymologies

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

[Middle English wreken, from Old English wrecan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A Northern variant of wreche, influenced later by Etymology 1, above.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English wrecan, from Proto-Germanic *wrekanan, from root *wrek-, from Proto-Indo-European *wreg- (“work, do”). Cognate via Proto-Germanic with Dutch wreken, German rächen, Swedish vräka; cognate via PIE with Latin urgere (English urge), and distantly cognate to English wreck.

Examples

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