- destruction; devastation; ruin
- informal confusion; chaos
- cry havoc ⇒ archaic to give the signal for pillage and destruction
- play havoc ⇒ (often followed by with) to cause a great deal of damage, distress, or confusion (to)
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
hav•oc /ˈhævək/USA pronunciation n.WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- great destruction or devastation:havoc caused by the bombing.
- Idiomsplay havoc with or wreak havoc on, [~ + object]
- to create confusion or disorder in:The plans for restructuring will play havoc with the town.
- to destroy;
ruin:The tornado wreaked havoc on several towns in its path.
hav•oc (hav′ək),USA pronunciation n., v., -ocked, -ock•ing.
- great destruction or devastation;
- Idiomscry havoc, to warn of danger or disaster.
- Idiomsplay havoc with:
- to create confusion or disorder in:The wind played havoc with the papers on the desk.
- to destroy;
ruin:The bad weather played havoc with our vacation plans.
- to work havoc upon;
- to work havoc:The fire havocked throughout the house.
- Anglo-French (in phrase crier havok to cry havoc, i.e., utter the command havoc! as signal for pillaging), Middle French havot in same sense
- late Middle English havok 1400–50
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged desolation, waste. See ruin.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
havoc /ˈhævək/ n
'havoc' also found in these entries: