wreak

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Related to wreaking: wield, sunder, spurning

wreak havoc

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

play havoc with (someone or something)

To cause issues or disruptions for someone or something. The road closures have played havoc with rush-hour traffic. This humidity is going to play havoc with my hair.
See also: havoc, play

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

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

play/wreak ˈhavoc with something

cause damage, destruction or disorder to something: The terrible storms wreaked havoc with electricity supplies, because so many power lines were down.
See also: havoc, play, something, wreak
References in periodicals archive ?
The truth: Toxic mold, as the various fungi have been dubbed, is not some mutant superstrain wreaking havoc on homes, offices and schools.
Stachybotrys, along with penicillium and aspergillus, are the molds most often cited for wreaking havoc on home and health.
Chlorofluorocarbons and other pollutants in the atmosphere attack ozone molecules around the globe, wreaking the greatest havoc near the poles, where air temperatures are lowest.
This update comes on the heels of the Blaster Worm, a computer virus that swept across the world last month, wreaking havoc with computers in businesses and homes alike.
A series of small storms spawned over the Pacific Ocean dumped about a quarter-inch of rain on the San Fernando Valley, wreaking havoc on area freeways Saturday and prompting county health officials to issue bacteria warnings for nearby beaches.
The War for Talent is a myth and the emphasis on expecting high-flying individuals to improve results is wreaking havoc on corporations, says international organizational expert and PNA President Adrian W.
CASTAIC - A foul-smelling, foul-tasting layer of blue-green algae covering Castaic Lake is wreaking havoc with the local water supply, prompting a flood of complaints from area water users, officials say.
This thriller, about a bull shark wreaking havoc in a Louisiana river, is directed by Charlie Carner from a script by Christopher Mack and J.
It's a unique paradox for the Information Age: A man accused of wreaking havoc with computers might need the use of one to get to trial.
In their new mystery adventure, Scooby and the gang confront an anonymous masked villain who is plotting to take over the city of Coolsville by wreaking mayhem with a monster machine that creates Mystery Inc.
The cure brings out the wolf in Tara who succumbs to the primal animal urges and begins searching for prey and wreaking vengeance on her enemies.
When the attachment is opened, this message replicates itself potentially wreaking havoc by creating unnecessary traffic on corporate networks.
Judging from Ted's mail, a lot of 401(k) participants are finding their companies taken over by new companies and their positions terminated -- and this is wreaking havoc with their 401(k) plans.