SKIP TO CONTENT

shipwreck

A shipwreck is the damaged remains of a large sea-going vessel that washes to shore or sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

Historians are interested in old shipwrecks, which reveal details of who was onboard or what was being transported when the ship was badly damaged. You can use the word for the act of the ship's destruction as well as the wreckage left behind: "The shipwreck occurred when the Titanic struck an iceberg." Storms, accidents, war, and sabotage can all lead to shipwrecks. An earlier maritime word with the same meaning was "ship-breaking."

Definitions of shipwreck
  1. noun
    a wrecked ship (or a part of one)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    ship
    a vessel that carries passengers or freight
  2. noun
    an accident that destroys a ship at sea
    synonyms: wreck
    see moresee less
    types:
    capsizing
    (nautical) the event of a boat accidentally turning over in the water
    type of:
    accident
    an unfortunate mishap; especially one causing damage or injury
  3. noun
    an irretrievable loss
    “that was the shipwreck of their romance”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    ruin, ruination
    an event that results in destruction
  4. verb
    cause to experience shipwreck
    “They were shipwrecked in one of the mysteries at sea”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    subject
    cause to experience or suffer or make liable or vulnerable to
  5. verb
    destroy a ship
    “The vessel was shipwrecked
    see moresee less
    type of:
    destroy, ruin
    destroy completely; damage irreparably
  6. verb
    ruin utterly
    “You have shipwrecked my career”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    ruin
    destroy or cause to fail
  7. verb
    suffer failure, as in some enterprise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    fail, go wrong, miscarry
    be unsuccessful
Word Family
EDITOR'S CHOICE

Look up shipwreck for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer - Vocabulary.com's Vocabulary Trainer