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wreak havoc (with something)

to cause a lot of trouble with something; to ruin or damage something. Your bad attitude will wreak havoc with my project. The rainy weather wreaked havoc with our picnic plans.
See also: havoc, wreak

wreak something (up)on someone or something

to cause damage, havoc, or destruction to someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The storm wreaked destruction upon the little village. It wreaked much havoc on us.
See also: on, wreak

wreak vengeance (up)on someone or something

Cliché to seek and get revenge on someone by harming someone or something. The gangster wreaked his vengeance by destroying his rival's house. The general wanted to wreak vengeance on the opposing army for their recent successful attack.
See also: on, vengeance, wreak

wreak havoc

to cause a lot of trouble or damage Storms wreaked havoc on both coasts of the United States.
Usage notes: often used with on: Strikes have wreaked havoc on businesses here.
See also: havoc, wreak

play havoc

Also, raise or wreak havoc . Disrupt, damage, or destroy something, as in The wind played havoc with her hair, or The fire alarm raised havoc with the children, or The earthquake wrought havoc in the town. The noun havoc was once used as a command for invaders to begin looting and killing, but by the 1800s the term was being used for somewhat less aggressive activities. For a synonym, see play the devil with.
See also: havoc, play
References in periodicals archive ?
The Journal of Financial Advertising is published quarterly by Wreaks Media Group (http://www.
Bill Wreaks President, JFAM & Publisher, Wreaks Media Group 212-753-5131 or bill@financialadvertising.
In "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," Scooby and the gang lose their cool - and their stellar reputation - when an anonymous masked villain wreaks mayhem on the city of Coolsville with a monster machine that re-creates classic Mystery Inc.
WW I wreaks further havoc, and the Tsar is forced to abdicate.
This result raises the possibility that the bright artificial lighting typical of hospital nurseries sometimes wreaks havoc with the biological rhythms of human babies, according to neurobiologist Scott A.
The first evening, at the Pillow's Studio Theatre, Dondoro will perform the traditional play Kiyohime Mandara, about a young woman who wreaks vengence when she is betrayed by the monk to whom she is betrothed.
As a new version of the Love Bug virus wreaks havoc on the computers of Microsoft Outlook users, messaging software companies are stepping forward to suggest their products offer better protection, because e-mail is sent and received from a central point.
Rachel is devastated and wreaks havoc at the shelter, but she finally comes to realize that Grrl was too wild and dangerous to save--and that writing about her is the best thing Rachel can do.
David Whisner has moved to sweeper, and although he's just 5-foot-2, he wreaks havoc on opposing forwards.
The evidence lies in PrP's shape, which appears to determine whether it coexists harmlessly with other proteins in brain cells or wreaks havoc.
But the peace is broken when a nasty vine from Haiti Lady's plot wreaks havoc on Thurgood's seedlings as he helplessly sees them sucked back into the ground and out of sight
Researchers suspect that this enzyme, secreted by white blood cells called neutrophils, helps clean up wounds, but in the lungs of certain individuals it wreaks havoc.
The Wazzu virus wreaks havoc within infected documents by changing, moving or adding words.
Mass says the most important aspect of the study is that he and Portman separated out temperature changes caused by the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the unpredictable ocean phenomenon that wreaks havoc on weather patterns every few years.