Definition of shipwreck in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈʃɪprɛk/


1The destruction of a ship at sea by sinking or breaking up, for example in a storm or after striking a rock: these islands have a history of shipwrecks and smuggling [mass noun]: the angry waves, whose fury heralds shipwreck figurative by rejecting conscience, they have made a shipwreck of their faith
More example sentences
  • With the help of his faithful spirit Ariel, Prospero conjures up a great storm causing a shipwreck on the shore nearby.
  • The annals of the marine record no example of a shipwreck so terrible as that of the Medusa frigate.
  • Impetuous storms and violent shipwrecks occur at sea.
1.1A ship so destroyed: the detritus of a forgotten shipwreck
More example sentences
  • There were a record number of entries from yellow submarines, tall ships, small ships, rafts, sea serpents, to shipwrecks and fishing boats and lots more besides.
  • Widely regarded as the Mount Everest of diveable shipwrecks is the ocean liner HMHS Britannic.
  • The Heritage Office has released a shipwreck conservation management plan that documents the discovery of the submarine.


(be shipwrecked)
(Of a person or ship) suffer a shipwreck: the English envoy was shipwrecked off the coast of Sardinia and nearly drowned (as adjective shipwrecked) she found herself clinging to the kitchen cabinet like a shipwrecked mariner to a rock
More example sentences
  • Accounts written by other mariners shipwrecked along the same coast chronicled brutal enslavement at the hands of ruthless desert nomads.
  • Today the morality tale of this York shipwrecked mariner is republished as ‘classic summer reading’.
  • During the 17th and 18th centuries, there were other mariners shipwrecked or abandoned and subsequently rescued.
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