Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To give off a strong unpleasant odor.
  • intransitive verb To be pervaded by something unpleasant.
  • intransitive verb Chiefly British To smoke, steam, or fume.
  • noun A strong offensive odor; a stench. synonym: stench.
  • noun Chiefly British Smoke or vapor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Smoke; vapor; steam; exhalation; fume.
  • noun Incense.
  • noun A rick; also, a small bundle of hay.
  • To smoke; steam; exhale.
  • To smoke; expose to smoke.
  • To emit an unpleasant or unhealthy smell; stink.
  • To cause to reek or smell offensively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To emit vapor, usually that which is warm and moist; to be full of fumes; to steam; to smoke; to exhale.
  • noun Vapor; steam; smoke; fume.
  • noun obsolete A rick.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A strong unpleasant smell.
  • noun Vapor; steam; smoke; fume.
  • verb archaic (intransitive) To be emitted or exhaled, emanate, as of vapour or perfume.
  • verb To have or give off a strong, unpleasant smell.
  • verb figuratively To be evidently associated with something unpleasant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb give off smoke, fumes, warm vapour, steam, etc.
  • verb have an element suggestive (of something)
  • verb be wet with sweat or blood, as of one's face
  • noun a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant
  • verb smell badly and offensively

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English reken, to emit smoke, from Old English rēocan, to emit smoke, and rēcan, to expose to smoke; see reug- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English rek ‘smoke’, from Old English rēc, riec, from Proto-Germanic *raukiz (compare West Frisian reek, riik, Danish røg, Norwegian røyk), from Proto-Indo-European *rougi- (compare Lithuanian rū̃kti ‘to smoke’, rū̃kas ‘smoke, fog’, Albanian regj ‘to tan’).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English reken ‘to smoke’, from Old English rēocan, from Proto-Germanic *reukanan (compare Dutch ruiken, German riechen, Danish ryge, Swedish ryka), from Proto-Indo-European *rougi. See above.

Examples

  • Caitlin O’Toole at News. com.au outlines ten things bosses hate about employees, from big-picture errors like failing to meet deadlines to personal problems such as smelling bad (telling a staff member they reek is never a fun meeting).

    Why your boss doesn’t like you | Lifehacker Australia

  • Caitlin O’Toole at News. com.au outlines ten things bosses hate about employees, from big-picture errors like failing to meet deadlines to personal problems such as smelling bad (telling a staff member they reek is never a fun meeting).

    Sunday, September 14, 2008 | Lifehacker Australia

  • Having artfully solved a thorny problem a week ago, the government has now embraced a deal whose terms reek of the bailout it was at such pains to avoid.

    The Real Cost

  • Methinks these terms reek of desuetude which really is a legal term, correct?

    "It cannot be gainsaid..."

  • Every wreath of the reek is a blast of shame upon us!

    The Black Dwarf

  • For a hungry cub, fresh from hibernating in its winter den, the reek was a thousand times more interesting than blackberry briars or a pair of woodland strangers.

    Ice Hunt

  • Every wreath of the reek is a blast of shame upon us!

    The Black Dwarf

  • Every wreath of the reek is a blast of shame upon us!

    The Black Dwarf

  • Yet, it is its foul odor, often described as the reek of rotten eggs or hydrogen sulfide, that puts the "skunk" into the creature's name.

    Valdosta Daily Times Homepage

  • As Raymond Sokolov, then the Times restaurant critic, put it in 1973, the reek was the whole point.

    Diner's Journal

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