wrack

Wrack is when something falls into disrepair. When an old house deteriorates, you can describe its wrack, or the process of its crumbling collapse.

You're most likely to come across the noun wrack in the phrase "go to wrack and ruin." This is a descriptive way to talk about the collapse or gradual breakdown of something, either literal — "I hate to see that building go to wrack and ruin," or figurative — "Their marriage went to wrack and ruin after a year." In the fourteenth century, a wrack was a shipwreck, from the Middle Dutch wrak, or "wreck."

Definitions of wrack
  1. noun
    the destruction or collapse of something
    wrack and ruin”
    synonyms: rack
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    type of:
    demolition, destruction, wipeout
    an event (or the result of an event) that completely destroys something
  2. verb
    smash or break forcefully
    synonyms: bust up, wreck
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    type of:
    destroy, ruin
    destroy completely; damage irreparably
  3. noun
    growth of marine vegetation especially of the large forms such as rockweeds and kelp
    synonyms: sea wrack
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    type of:
    seaweed
    plant growing in the sea, especially marine algae
  4. noun
    dried seaweed especially that cast ashore
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    type of:
    seaweed
    plant growing in the sea, especially marine algae
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