Meanings of “Wreak Havoc”
The phrase “wreak havoc” means to cause considerable damage. It is often used to refer to the situations when a person is involved in bringing disasters to someone or something.
Origin of “Wreak Havoc”
The phrase “wreak havoc” was first sighted in Agatha Christie’s popular work, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, published in 1926, where it is stated as: “Annie is not allowed to wreak havoc with a dustpan and brush.”
Earlier, it also appeared in July 1871, in the Irish newspaper, The Cork Examiner. The report detailing the Orange Riots in New York used this phrase with reference to the public levee such as; “It might have been possible to have made a general levee of armed citizens who should wreak havoc upon the lower orders in their own suburbs.”
Examples in Literature
Wreaking Havoc by Grace Galeon
“I can be me when I am with her”
The drained and exhausted him
Left with no energy even for a simple smile
Two brows raised an equivalent of ‘hello’
With that in mind, he happily greeted a stranger
The joy of your voice kept ringing
An unexpected laughter escaped in him
He took her by the hand
But not a tiny energy exerted to hold it.
This short poem narrates the story of an unfortunate person who is left with no energy. The exhausted speaker says that his life could have been better if his beloved was with him. Now, he lacks the power even to greet someone. Thinking about his beloved, he welcomed the stranger with a burst of unexpected laughter. Although he tries to keep up the pace, his miserable state of life does not allow him to restore that cherishing moment. The phrase shows its metaphorical representation through this poem.
Wreak Havoc by Skylar Grey
“They call me a menace
They say that I’m cursed
But somethin’ about me is makin’ ‘em jealous
So listen and learn
I herd ‘em like cattle
‘Cause I’m surrounded by cowards
And I don’t give a … when I walk into battle
And thats why I got all the power
I’m where you wanna be
Ain’t no one ahead of me
All of my enemies made a decision
It’s better to follow me
I make no apologies
All of my sins I would repeat and I repeat
‘Cause I’ mma be me ‘til the death of me, oh yeah
I can smell your fear
The only reason that I’m here
Is to wreak havoc.”
The speaker explains what people think of him because he possesses some bad habits and partly because they are jealous of his success and fame. Without caring about their opinions, he decides to continue his struggle, for he is determined to repeat his mistakes because he wants them to accept him the way he is. Thus, the purpose of his life is to create troubles for others. The phrase shows that he will continue to throw stones toward haters.
Wreaking Havoc by Angel Steel
The novel is the story of a girl whose life was ruined in the name of love. This heartfelt piece beautifully illustrates how she thinks about love. To her, it has a special place in our life; it comes with a lot of wonders and bounties. However, these illusions get disappeared when the same love makes her stand on the verge of destruction. The desire for Dante Davenport makes her realize that love, trust, and honesty are nothing but fragile threads that can break anytime. However, they break, the person’s life is destroyed as if he is doomed forever. The phrase shows its use in different meanings, including irony.
Killosophy by Criss Jami
“Tell me that the purpose of life is to have fun, and without a care in the world I’ll begin wreaking havoc on everything I pass. Now that’s what I call pure, honest fun.”
This extract is a thoughtful piece of writing that differentiates between knowledge and wisdom. The writer explains the fact that knowledge can be gained through books. However, wisdom cannot be recorded, written, or preserved on paper; it eventually comes your way. While narrating the purpose of life, the writer succumbs to the fact that life is meant to be enjoyed. Therefore, he intends to wreak havoc on everything he will encounter, and this, to him, is great fun. In other words, he will not only create trouble for others but also enjoy this vicious act. The phrase has been used in its literal sense in this excerpt.
Example in Sentences
Example #2: “The farmers are upset that the impending locus attack may wreak havoc on their ripe crops and damage the few remaining healthy plants.”
Example #3: “Yesterday, a giant monster was sighted in the village, where he wreaked havoc with the public property.”
Example #4: “We decided to spend last week on a hill station, but the rainy and windy weather wreaked havoc with our exciting plans.”
Example #5: “COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the people already having a weaker immune system.”