1. 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. "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)

2. Destruction or injury of anything, especially by violence; ruin; as, the wreck of a railroad train. "The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds." (Addison) "Its intellectual life was thus able to go on amidst the wreck of its political life." (J. R. Green)

3. 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.

4. The remain of anything ruined or fatally injured. "To the fair haven of my native home, The wreck of what I was, fatigued I come." (Cowper)

5. Goods, etc, which, after a shipwreck, are cast upon the land by the sea.

Origin: OE. Wrak, AS. Wraec 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, and cf. Wrack a marine plant

Alternative forms: wrack.

(01 Mar 1998)

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