Etymology
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shipwreck (n.)

mid-15c., "destruction or loss of a vessel by foundering at sea," from ship (n.) + wreck (n.). Earlier it meant "things cast up from a shipwreck" (c. 1100). The earlier word for "shipwreck" in the modern sense was Middle English schipbreke, ship-brekinge "ship-break, ship-breaking" (late 14c.), from a North Sea Germanic word (compare West Frisian skipbrek, Middle Dutch schipbroke, German Schiffbruch).

Old English scipgebroc seems not to have survived into Middle English. Old English scipbryce meant "right to claim goods from a wrecked ship." In modern use, ship-breaking (1897) is the breaking up of old vessels. In maritime law, ship-broken lingered into 18c. for "shipwrecked."

shipwreck (v.)

1580s, "cause (someone) to be subject to shipwreck;" c. 1600, intransitive, "to suffer shipwreck;" from shipwreck (n.). Related: Shipwrecked.

updated on September 11, 2022

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Definitions of shipwreck from WordNet
1
shipwreck (v.)
ruin utterly;
You have shipwrecked my career
shipwreck (v.)
suffer failure, as in some enterprise;
shipwreck (v.)
cause to experience shipwreck;
They were shipwrecked in one of the mysteries at sea
shipwreck (v.)
destroy a ship;
The vessel was shipwrecked
2
shipwreck (n.)
a wrecked ship (or a part of one);
shipwreck (n.)
an irretrievable loss;
that was the shipwreck of their romance
shipwreck (n.)
an accident that destroys a ship at sea;
Synonyms: wreck
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.