1. great destruction or devastation; ruinous damage.

verb (used with object), hav·ocked, hav·ock·ing.

  1. to work havoc upon; devastate.

verb (used without object), hav·ocked, hav·ock·ing.

  1. to work havoc: The fire havocked throughout the house.
  1. cry havoc, to warn of danger or disaster.
  2. play havoc with,
    1. to create confusion or disorder in: The wind played havoc with the papers on the desk.
    2. to destroy; ruin: The bad weather played havoc with our vacation plans.


  1. destruction; devastation; ruin
  2. informal confusion; chaos
  3. cry havoc archaic to give the signal for pillage and destruction
  4. play havoc (often foll by with) to cause a great deal of damage, distress, or confusion (to)

verb -ocs, -ocking or -ocked

  1. (tr) archaic to lay waste

early 15c., from Anglo-French havok in phrase crier havok “cry havoc” (late 14c.), a signal to soldiers to seize plunder, from Old French havot “pillaging, looting,” related to haver “to seize, grasp,” hef “hook,” probably from a Germanic source (see hawk (n.)), or from Latin habere “to have, possess.” General sense of “devastation” first recorded late 15c.

see cry havoc; play havoc.

52 queries 0.524