AskDefine | Define wrack

The Collaborative Dictionary

Wrack \Wrack\, v. t. To rack; to torment. [R.] [1913 Webster]
Wrack \Wrack\, n. [OE. wrak wreck. See Wreck.] [1913 Webster]
Wreck; ruin; destruction. [Obs.] --Chaucer. "A world devote to universal wrack." --Milton. [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]
Any marine vegetation cast up on the shore, especially plants of the genera Fucus, Laminaria, and Zostera, which are most abundant on northern shores. [1913 Webster]
(Bot.) Coarse seaweed of any kind. [1913 Webster] Wrack grass, or Grass wrack (Bot.), eelgrass. [1913 Webster]
Wrack \Wrack\, v. t. To wreck. [Obs.] --Dryden. [1913 Webster]
Wrack \Wrack\, n. A thin, flying cloud; a rack. [1913 Webster]
Wreck \Wreck\, n. [OE. wrak, AS. wr[ae]c exile, persecution, misery, from wrecan to drive out, punish; akin to D. wrak, adj., damaged, brittle, n., a wreck, wraken to reject, throw off, Icel. rek a thing drifted ashore, Sw. vrak refuse, a wreck, Dan. vrag. See Wreak, v. t., and cf. Wrack a marine plant.] [Written also wrack.] [1913 Webster]
The destruction or injury of a vessel by being cast on shore, or on rocks, or by being disabled or sunk by the force of winds or waves; shipwreck. [1913 Webster] Hard and obstinate As is a rock amidst the raging floods, 'Gainst which a ship, of succor desolate, Doth suffer wreck, both of herself and goods. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]
Destruction or injury of anything, especially by violence; ruin; as, the wreck of a railroad train. [1913 Webster] The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds. --Addison. [1913 Webster] Its intellectual life was thus able to go on amidst the wreck of its political life. --J. R. Green. [1913 Webster]
The ruins of a ship stranded; a ship dashed against rocks or land, and broken, or otherwise rendered useless, by violence and fracture; as, they burned the wreck. [1913 Webster]
The remain of anything ruined or fatally injured. [1913 Webster] To the fair haven of my native home, The wreck of what I was, fatigued I come. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]
(Law) Goods, etc., which, after a shipwreck, are cast upon the land by the sea. --Bouvier. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 dried seaweed especially that cast ashore
2 the destruction or collapse of something; "wrack and ruin" [syn: rack]
3 growth of marine vegetation especially of the large forms such as rockweeds and kelp [syn: sea wrack] v : smash or break forcefully; "The kid busted up the car" [syn: bust up, wreck]

Moby Thesaurus

algae, autophyte, bean, bloodbath, blue ruin, bracken, breakdown, breaking up, breakup, bring to ruin, brown algae, carnage, cataclysm, catastrophe, cave, cave-in, climber, collapse, condemn, conferva, confervoid, confound, consume, consumption, crack-up, crash, creeper, damn, damnation, deal destruction, debacle, decimate, decimation, demolish, depredate, depredation, desolate, desolation, despoil, despoilment, despoliation, destroy, destruction, devastate, devastation, devour, diatom, disaster, disintegration, disorganization, disruption, dissolution, dissolve, engorge, fern, fruits and vegetables, fucus, fungus, gobble, gobble up, grapevine, green algae, gulfweed, gut, gut with fire, havoc, hecatomb, herb, heterophyte, holocaust, incinerate, ivy, kelp, lay in ruins, lay waste, legume, lentil, liana, lichen, liverwort, mold, moss, mushroom, parasite, parasitic plant, pea, perdition, perthophyte, phytoplankton, planktonic algae, plant families, puffball, pulse, ravage, raze, red algae, rockweed, ruin, ruinate, ruination, rust, saprophyte, sargasso, sargassum, sea lentil, sea moss, sea wrack, seaweed, shambles, shipwreck, slaughter, smash, smashup, smut, spoliation, succulent, swallow up, throw into disorder, toadstool, total loss, unbuild, undo, undoing, unleash destruction, unleash the hurricane, unmake, upheave, vandalism, vandalize, vaporize, vetch, vine, washout, waste, wort, wrack and ruin, wreak havoc, wreck



  • /ræk/
    Rhymes with: -æk


Etymology 1

From wræc.


  1. (archaic or poetic) revenge, persecution
  2. (archaic except in dialects) ruin, destruction
  3. the remains; a wreck

Etymology 2

From (and ) wrak (cognate with wræc).


  1. remnant from a shipwreck as washed ashore, or the right to claim such items
  2. any marine vegetation cast up on shore, especially seaweed of the genus Fucus
  3. weeds, vegetation or rubbish floating on a river or pond


  1. to wreck, especially a ship (usually in passive)
Wrack may refer to:
People with the surname Wrack:
  • Darren Wrack (born 1976), English footballer
  • Matt Wrack (21st century), British firefighter and trade unionist

See also

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