What is the past tense of greed



The past participle of Middle Englishwerken(“to work”), from Old Englishwyrcan (past tense worhte, past participle geworht), from Proto-Germanic*wurkijaną(“to work”), from Proto-Indo-European*werǵ-(“to work”). Cognate with wright (as in wheelwright etc.), Dutchgewrocht, archaic past participle of werken (archaic past tense wrocht, archaic past participle gewrocht), Low Germanwracht, archaic past participle of warken (archaic past tense wrach, archaic past participle wracht).



wrought (comparativemore wrought, superlativemost wrought)

  1. Having been worked or prepared somehow.
    Is that fence made out of wrought iron?
    • 2001, Wiesehofer, Josef, Ancient Persia, I.B.Tauris, →ISBN, page 27:
      (...) The goldsmiths who wrought the gold, those were Medes and Egyptians. The men who wrought the wood, those were Sardians and Egyptians. The men who wrought the baked brick, those were Babylonians. (...)}}


Derived terms[edit]


Having been worked or prepared somehow



  1. simple past tense and past participle of work
    • 2013 June 29, “High and wet”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 28:

      Floods in northern India, mostly in the small state of Uttarakhand, have wrought disaster on an enormous scale. The early, intense onset of the monsoon on June 14th swelled rivers, washing away roads, bridges, hotels and even whole villages. Rock-filled torrents smashed vehicles and homes, burying victims under rubble and sludge.

  2. (see usage notes)simple past tense and past participle of wreak
    • 2008, The Parliamentary Debates : House of Lords official report, p. 85:
      We are, however, in danger of ignoring the more fundamental lessons, forgetting the imperative to root out and to curb within our societies at every level—most importantly that of the individual—the greed, avarice, corruption and hubris which has wrought and will wreak so much havoc, not just in our relatively rich countries, but has its impact most unfairly on the poorer, unsophisticated countries.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In contemporary English, wrought is usually not interchangeable with worked, the more common past and past participle of work.
  • While wrought usually lends a more archaic flavor, it is still fairly common in certain transitive constructions, e.g. in to workmiracles.
  • Because the phrase “work havoc” has become uncommon, its past tense “wrought havoc” is now sometimes misinterpreted as being a past tense of “wreak havoc”.

Derived terms[edit]