Wreck vs. reck

Photo of author


Wreck and reck are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which means they are homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words wreck and reck, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Wreck means an automobile, ship, building, etc., that has been destroyed or badly damaged due to an accident or catastrophe, or to cause the destruction of an automobile, ship, building, etc. Wreck is also used to describe someone whose health or mental faculties are in deep decline. Wreck is used as a noun or a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are wrecks, wrecked, wrecking, wrecker. The word wreck is derived from the Old Norse word wrek which means flotsam.

Reck means to pay attention to something, to pay heed to something. The word is derived from the Old English word reccan, which means to care for or be interested in. Reck is an archaic word that is seldom used except in poetry. Today, if one encounters the word reck in everyday correspondence, it is most likely a typographical error or spelling mistake.


One person died and others were injured in a two-vehicle wreck on Farm-to-Market Road 1788 outside the Rock the Desert festival grounds, according to a previous Reporter-Telegram article. (The Midland Reporter-Telegram)

West calmly explains through a respirator mask how water from a leaky roof has wrecked the place built by commercial and political titan Joseph Carey back in 1876, cracking second-floor walls and sprouting black mold. (The Wyoming Tribune Eagle)

The first shock of everything that she believed in isn’t true, that her whole world had fallen apart, and everything that came with that — the burning of Shireen, which she never allowed herself to feel anything about because she was so sure it would lead to good things in the end — she was a wreck in season six. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered: