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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for recks
Historical Examples
  • But Art, which is long-lived, recks little of Time, an evanescent thing.

  • Her cup of sorrow is already full, and she recks not if it run over.

    Gaspar the Gaucho Mayne Reid
  • Despoiled of his far more precious treasure, what recks he of that?

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • She builds for infinite years, and recks not the time of building.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • Who recks the path which he has trod, when home and happiness are in view?

  • True, it will cost another six shillings, but she recks not of the expense.

    Gwen Wynn Mayne Reid
  • Thus, light-hearted gossip, which talks in headlines, and recks little of the subtler issues of life.

  • His voice came from the surge of battle, like the cheer of a sailor who recks not for the tempest.


    Robert Montgomery Bird
  • He is the page of Canute himself, a real Wandering Wolf, and recks not whom he attacks.

    The Ward of King Canute Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • But history, whether dealing with men or nations, recks little of "what might have been."

British Dictionary definitions for recks


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 recks



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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