• WordNet 3.6
    • n havoc violent and needless disturbance
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • interj Havoc A cry in war as the signal for indiscriminate slaughter. "Do not cry havoc , where you should but hunt
      With modest warrant."
      "Cry ' havoc ,' and let slip the dogs of war!"
    • v. t Havoc To devastate; to destroy; to lay waste. "To waste and havoc yonder world."
    • n Havoc hăv"ŏk Wide and general destruction; devastation; waste. "As for Saul, he made havoc of the church.""Ye gods, what havoc does ambition make
      Among your works!"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n havoc An early Middle English form of hawk, surviving till later times in the phrase to cry havoc.
    • n havoc General and relentless destruction.
    • n havoc To shout for the beginning or the continuation of a work of indiscriminate destruction or rapine.
    • havoc To work general destruction upon; devastate; destroy; lay waste.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Havoc hav′ok general waste or destruction: devastation
    • v.t Havoc to lay waste
    • interj Havoc an ancient hunting or war cry
    • ***


  • Salman Rushdie
    “Throughout human history, the apostles of purity, those who have claimed to possess a total explanation, have wrought havoc among mere mixed-up human beings.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.”


Play havoc - Playing havoc with something is creating disorder and confusion; computer viruses can play havoc with your programs.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
W. hafog, devastation, havoc; or, if this be itself fr. E. havoc, cf. OE. havot, or AS. hafoc, hawk, which is a cruel or rapacious bird, or F. hai, voux!, a cry to hounds


In literature:

The artillery began by causing great havoc on both sides.
"A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Volume III. of VI." by Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
But here is the type of man that has wrought havoc among the helpless insane.
"A Mind That Found Itself" by Clifford Whittingham Beers
The light of science makes havoc of all such primitive conditions.
"A Woman of the World" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
And these omens forebode great havoc among ourselves.
"The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 4" by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
He is a Conall for havoc, a Cuculain for dexterity of feats.
"Ireland, Historic and Picturesque" by Charles Johnston
The marsh, the bad water, and the malaria played havoc with the colonists, and all three of the responsible agents died.
"A Social History of The American Negro" by Benjamin Brawley
With this state of progress and prosperity the Danes played sad havoc.
"The Glories of Ireland" by Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox
This sudden and unforeseen attack caused a great havoc.
"The Pirates Own Book" by Charles Ellms
This slow travel worked havoc upon my mind.
"Tales of lonely trails" by Zane Grey
They are a complete summary of the tactics which wrought such havoc in the Valley.
"Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War" by G. F. R. Henderson

In poetry:

Think ye I made this ball
A field of havoc and war,
Where tyrants great and tyrants small
Might harry the weak and poor?
"Boston Hymn" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now the sky gardeners speed the hurrying day
And sow the plains of night with silver grain;
So shall this transient havoc fade away
And the proud cape be beautiful again.
"From ‘W’ Beach" by Geoffrey Dearmer
Just as the dawn of Love was breaking
Across the weary world of grey,
Just as my life once more was waking
As roses waken late in May,
Fate, blindly cruel and havoc-making,
Stepped in and carried you away.
"Fate Knows No Tears" by Laurence Hope
Sir Archibald Alison led on the Highland Brigade,
And great havoc amongst the enemy they made,
And village after village they captured and destroyed,
Until King Coffee lost heart and felt greatly annoyed.
"The Ashantee War" by William Topaz McGonagall
Five Zouaves killed! — one thousand in all — Five from a thousand? Then he may be one.
If in the havoc of bayonet and ball,
So many were killed, one may be my son.
And death, to the boy, all the glory he won.
"The Zouaves At Bethel" by Anonymous Americas
Then Kerr patiently waited till the doors were consumed,
And with a gallant charge, the last attack was resumed,
And he dashed sword in hand into the midst of the mutineers,
And he and his seven troopers played great havoc with their sabres.
"The Hero of Kalapore" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Hurricane Sandy wreaks havoc in Coney Island .
Could it really "wreak havoc" on US foreign policy.
As tornadoes wreaked havoc across the Midwest earlier this month, Access Self Storage and other businesses in Lancaster, Texas, banded together to provide relief for their struggling neighbors.
Sandy wreaked havoc in several Northeastern states.
Afternoon thunderstorms create havoc for Southwest Georgians.
That's what they call the insanely violent wind storm that wreaked havoc across several states, knocking out power lines for days and finding it's way to south Jersey in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 30th.
It's hard to imagine that one man was able to wreak so much havoc on so many lives and so many organizations.
Communities across southern Illinois are preparing for an insect that could wreak havoc on area trees.
DENVER — More than two dozen planes are stuck at Denver International Airport as a storm continues to wreak havoc on the East Coast.
For years, the conventional wisdom among diet experts is that so-called "yo-yo dieting " — repeatedly gaining and losing weight — wreaks havoc on one's metabolism, causing it to slow down.
As of right now, all flights at the El Paso International Airport are on schedule, despite the havoc being caused by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast.
Super Storm Sandy wrought havoc across the East Coast, leaving behind an estimated $10 to $20 billion dollars worth of physical damage and inflicting another $30-$50 billion in economic losses.
Couple fears illness, no pension could wreak havoc on retirement.
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — High winds wreak havoc in parts of Albuquerque, New Mexico shutting down an interstate.
Kia'i Moku: Familiar plants in Hawaii can wreak havoc elsewhere .

In science:

Moreover, A F SHAR’s analysis calls on the notion that properties of a light beam are considered continously variable from wave to particle, a concept that wreaks havoc with the concept of ‘particle.’ Once again, there is little to nothing here addressing any feature of the complimentary principle from BOHR .
Quantum complimentarity, erasers and photons
As a final example, we show the havoc a poorly initialized model can wreak in a simulation.
Mapping Initial Hydrostatic Models in Godunov Codes
Call I , J, K P Zx the values picked by havoc.
Underapproximation of Procedure Summaries for Integer Programs
Since small scale observations are based on galactic properties, while theoretical calculations usually deal with underlying mass distribution, any scale (or morphology) dependence of b could play havoc with predictive power of the theory.
Structure formation: Models, Dynamics and Status
If too large, these will wreck havoc on the abundances of light elements.
Gravitino Dark Matter in the CMSSM and Implications for Leptogenesis and the LHC