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[rek] /rɛk/
verb (used without object)
to have care, concern, or regard (often followed by of, with, or a clause).
to take heed.
Archaic. to be of concern or importance; matter:
It recks not.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to have regard for; mind; heed.
Origin of reck
before 900; Middle English rekken, Old English reccan; akin to Old Norse roekja to have care, German (ge)ruhen to deign Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for reck
Historical Examples
  • Why should we reck of hours that rendWhile we two ride together?

    Poems G.K. Chesterton
  • "I reck'n the Cup is kind o' company to him," said Jim Mason.

    Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant
  • I reck'n he'd like to be all the while in the saddle on the Downs.

    Boy Woodburn Alfred Ollivant
  • I reck'n Th' Owd Un come on him while he was at it; and then they fought.

    Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant
  • And therefore I reck not what ye say, so that I may win your lady.

  • Little do I reck of the issue, I who am but the Minister of what is written.

    Cleopatra H. Rider Haggard
  • Or what reck the rough gold-diggers, and stalwart trappers, seen around the table, for any or all of them?

  • What is well done I feel as if I did; what is ill done I reck not of.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Little did they reck of all they brought with them; he might win it who had a mind thereto.

    The Romance of Morien Jessie L. Weston
  • I reck not what ye say, so I win your lady sister from her oppressor.'

    King Arthur's Knights Henry Gilbert
British Dictionary definitions for reck


verb (archaic) (used mainly with a negative)
to mind or care about (something): to reck nought
(usually impersonal) to concern or interest (someone)
Word Origin
Old English reccan; related to Old High German ruohhen to take care, Old Norse rækja, Gothic rakjan
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 reck

Old English reccan (2) "take care of, be interested in, care for; have regard to, take heed of; to care, heed; desire (to do something)" (strong verb, past tense rohte, past participle rought), from West Germanic *rokjan, from Proto-Germanic *rokja- (cf. Old Saxon rokjan, Middle Dutch roeken, Old Norse rækja "to care for," Old High German giruochan "to care for, have regard to," German geruhen "to deign," which is influenced by ruhen "to rest").

And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn. [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Return of the King," 1955]
The -k- sound is probably a northern influence from Norse. No known cognates outside Germanic. "From its earliest appearance in Eng., reck is almost exclusively employed in negative or interrogative clauses" [OED]. Related: Recked; recking.


"care, heed, consideration," 1560s, from reck (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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