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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 of reek
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for reeked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had been shivering when he came in; now he reeked with perspiration.

  • It was a squalid hovel, and reeked of the earth out of which it was dug.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • She was what might be called—charitably—a peripatetic person, and she reeked of very strong perfume.

    The Purple Heights Marie Conway Oemler
  • She reeked—of bacon, of coffee, of burned toast, but mostly of perfume.

    The Coffin Cure Alan Edward Nourse
  • She smelled the secret; it reeked through the house, and she was devoured by eagerness to know.

    Gunman's Reckoning Max Brand
British Dictionary definitions for reeked

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 reeked

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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