To wreak is to cause something to happen, usually with a terrible consequence. You can make mischief, cause problems, or inflict pain, but to wreak damage suggests a deeper level of destruction.

Wreak stems from the Old English wrecan, meaning "to avenge." Its current meaning, that of causing something to happen — usually with dire consequences — came about in the 19th century. The word is a transitive verb, often paired with the equally intense havoc, meaning "devastation."

Definitions of wreak

v cause to happen or to occur as a consequence

wreak havoc”
bring, make for, play, work
act, work
have an effect or outcome; often the one desired or expected
Type of:
create, make
make or cause to be or to become

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