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reek

[reek] /rik/
noun
1.
a strong, unpleasant smell.
2.
vapor or steam.
verb (used without object)
3.
to smell strongly and unpleasantly.
4.
to be strongly pervaded with something unpleasant or offensive.
5.
to give off steam, smoke, etc.
6.
to be wet with sweat, blood, etc.
verb (used with object)
7.
to give off; emit; exude.
8.
to expose to or treat with smoke.
Origin
900
before 900; (noun) Middle English rek(e), Old English rēc smoke; cognate with German rauch, Dutch rook, Old Norse reykr; (v.) Middle English reken to smoke, steam, Old English rēocan
Related forms
reeker, noun
reekingly, adverb
reeky, adjective
Synonyms
5. steam, smoke, fume.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for reek
  • Unfortunately, such a system would spread the wealth and reek too much of fair play, so it will never happen.
  • Any actor who doesn't want to reek of despair should avoid such self-mockery at all costs.
  • Rotting wood pilings and hunks of concrete jut from the water, and the air has a briny reek.
  • On the surface, such a decision may reek of wrongdoing.
  • Programming strategies this year reek of uncertainty.
  • Some apartments have no cooking gas, while others reek of it leaking from the stoves.
  • If this game appears to reek of history, it is because it does.
  • Witness, perhaps, the first hyper-parenting trend that does not reek of wanton excess.
  • In the crammed history of thievery, this misadventure seems to reek of unsophistication.
  • The sounds of grunting and the reek of sweat emanate from its dingy chambers every evening.
British Dictionary definitions for reek

reek

/riːk/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to give off or emit a strong unpleasant odour; smell or stink
2.
(intransitive) often foll by of. to be permeated (by); be redolent (of) the letter reeks of subservience
3.
(transitive) to treat with smoke; fumigate
4.
(transitive) (mainly dialect) to give off or emit (smoke, fumes, vapour, etc)
noun
5.
a strong offensive smell; stink
6.
(mainly dialect) smoke or steam; vapour
Derived Forms
reeking, adjective
reekingly, adverb
reeky, adjective
Word Origin
Old English rēocan; related to Old Frisian riāka to smoke, Old High German rouhhan, Old Norse rjūka to smoke, steam
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reek
n.

Old English rec (Anglian), riec (West Saxon), "smoke from burning material," probably from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse reykr, Danish rǿg, Swedish rök "smoke, steam," from Proto-Germanic *raukiz (cf. Old Frisian rek, Middle Dutch rooc, Old High German rouh, German Rauch "smoke, steam"), from PIE *reug- "to vomit, belch;" also "smoke, cloud." Sense of "stench" is attested 1650s, via the notion of "that which rises" (cf. reek (v.)).

v.

Old English recan (Anglian), reocan (West Saxon) "emit smoke," from Proto-Germanic *reukanan (cf. Old Frisian reka "smoke," Middle Dutch roken, Dutch rieken "to smoke," Old High German riohhan "to smoke, steam," German rauchen "to smoke," riechen "to smell").

Originally a strong verb, with past tense reac, past participle gereocen, but occasionally showing weak conjugation in Old English. Meaning "to emit smoke;" meaning "to emit a bad smell" is recorded from 1710 via sense "be heated and perspiring" (early 15c.). Related: Reeked; reeking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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