Definition of havoc noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈhævək//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhævək//
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a situation in which there is a lot of damage, destruction or confusion The floods caused havoc throughout the area. Continuing strikes are beginning to play havoc with the national economy. These insects can wreak havoc on crops. Word Originlate Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French havok, alteration of Old French havot, of unknown origin. The word was originally used in the phrase cry havoc (Old French crier havot) ‘to give an army the order havoc’, which was the signal for plundering.Extra examples The disease can cause havoc in commercial orchards. The flood wrought havoc on the countryside. The fog played havoc with flight schedules. The new tax could wreak havoc among smaller companies. The storm caused havoc to wildlife. Continuing strikes are beginning to wreak havoc on the economy. This new virus has created havoc for computer users.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: havoc