wreak havoc

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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 ?
TOXIC Brandon wreaks havoc on a Kansas town A childless couple discover a meteorite containing a two-year-old alien on their Kansas farm and adopt him as their own child.
The post Three dead in the north, as heavy rain wreaks havoc (updated) appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
In this week's edition of the Trib+Water newsletter: A new report points to high levels of arsenic in many Texans' drinking water, El Nino wreaks havoc globally and an interview with Laura Huffman of the Nature Conservancy.
However, havoc is wreaked when the medium inadvertently attracts Charles' deceased first wife, Elvira, who soon wreaks havoc upon the household.
Mechanics, sand wreaks havoc on a Black Hawk windshield, whether it's in a sand storm or the result of rotor wash.
In "Oban," a cute reptilian critter transforms into a raving beast that wreaks havoc amongst the crew's redshirts.
Mendis, whose rapturous enthusiasm for the Dear Leader's bold global vision wreaks havoc with his prose, continues: "We need a global body that transcends universal values that are essentially enshrined in the American founding documents--which are indeed spiritual....
If your hair smells like bleach, blame the pool Chlorine wreaks havoc on hair.
Cutting public expenditures and taxes to eliminate social programs may be excellent bottomline thinking but in practice, it wreaks havoc on the lives of the unfortunate.
The Cat Came Back) packs a polymorphous punch and soon wreaks havoc on the home the sleeping patterns of Doris and Roger and their appliances and their befuddled dog.
* Liability issues must be resolved: Who is to blame if an artificial organism wreaks havoc?
But the dissolved cyanide also wreaks havoc throughout the entire food chain of birds and mammals.
The overabundance wreaks havoc on nerve tissue, overpowering the resident nervous-system cells that make myelin.
When sea-surface temperatures rise above normal, bad-boy El Nino wreaks havoc on worldwide weather.
But companies such as Phoenix Products and Southwest Airlines quickly are finding that this uncompromising regulation wreaks havoc with scheduling, benefits packages, productivity, and employee/employer relationships.