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Houghton Mifflin

wreak  audio  (rk) KEY 

TRANSITIVE VERB:
wreaked, wreak·ing, wreaks
  1. To inflict (vengeance or punishment) upon a person.
  2. To express or gratify (anger, malevolence, or resentment); vent.
  3. To bring about; cause: wreak havoc.
  4. Archaic To take vengeance for; avenge.

ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English wreken, from Old English wrecan
Usage Note:
Wreak is sometimes confused with wreck, perhaps because the wreaking of damage may leave a wreck: The storm wreaked (not wrecked ) havoc along the coast. The past tense and past participle of wreak is wreaked, not wrought, which is an alternative past tense and past participle of work.


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