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)
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.