wreak havoc

wreak havoc

To cause a lot of problems. Termites have wreaked havoc on the structural integrity of our house, unfortunately.
See also: havoc, wreak

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 havoc

Create confusion and inflict destruction. Havoc, which comes from the medieval word for “plunder,” was once a specific command for invading troops to begin looting and killing in a conquered village. This is what Shakespeare meant by his oft-quoted “Cry ‘havoc’ and let slip the dogs of war” (Julius Caesar, 3.1). Although the word still means devastating damage, to wreak it has been transferred to less warlike activities, as in “That puppy will wreak havoc in the living room.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in the The Birds of Killingworth (1863) stated, “The crow . . . crushing the beetle in his coat of mail, and crying havoc on the slug and snail.”
See also: havoc, wreak
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Aug 11 (ANI): As many as 72 people have died as flood and landslides wreak havoc in Kerala while 58 have been reported missing.
The heavy rain continued to wreak havoc in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
"We are seeing offenders who have stolen mopeds, motorbikes and quad bikes and are using them to wreak havoc in our communities.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia's fear that a shift to federalism would 'wreak havoc' on the country's economy is baseless, President Rodrigo Duterte's charter change committee said on Wednesday.
Watch as PS300,000 of damage caused after three teens wreak havoc at Huddersfield Rail Station Two boys and a girl damaged rail lines, cars and closed the Huddersfield to Manchester line from 7.20 to 11.50pm 5.
primark.com) primark.com) Organic plush sleeping bag PUTTING toddlers into a big bed can wreak havoc but keeping them in a sleeping bag that's big enough for them to stretch out in will make them feel safe and encourage them to stay put.
Summary: The Environment Agency has issued 71 flood warnings and 165 flood alerts across England and Wales, as heavy rain continues to wreak havoc.
Bangladesh famously defeated India in the 2007 World Cup but they remain an inconsistent side and a sell of India's supremacy looks a risky trade at this early stage, especially as their openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag could wreak havoc if they bat first.
The humanoids, as the cartoon characters call them, aided by Doog and Uncle Wom, quickly engage in a frantic race to find Dab and his mischief makers before they can wreak havoc on the world.
IN WAR-TORN IRAQ, THE 56K INTERNET SPEED IS SLOW and unreliable, the satellite phone service is sketchy at best, and the region's volatility can wreak havoc on one's "normal" day-to-day activities.
Plot: A bumbling security guard at the Museum of Natural History accidentally lets loose an ancient curse that causes the animals and insects on display to come to life and wreak havoc.
Complicit employees may attempt to cover their tracks by deleting incriminating evidence and can wreak havoc on information systems in a matter of seconds.
It goes without saying that a natural disaster--a hurricane, tornado, lightning strike, etc.--can potentially wreak havoc with business operations.
Two others--frosty pod and witches broom--are found only in tropical America but would wreak havoc on the chocolate industry were they to spread to West Africa.