- a strong, unpleasant smell.
- vapor or steam.
- to smell strongly and unpleasantly.
- to be strongly pervaded with something unpleasant or offensive.
- to give off steam, smoke, etc.
- to be wet with sweat, blood, etc.
- to give off; emit; exude.
- to expose to or treat with smoke.
Origin of reek
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for reeking
Reeking of cigarette smoke and body odor, Bassam smiled, seeming to understand and excuse my monolinguism.Iraq War 10th Anniversary: The Teamster
John Kael Weston
March 17, 2013
The bodies hung there for weeks, reeking and swelling grotesquely in the equatorial heat.Top 10 Clues DeLay Was Born to Dance
August 17, 2009
He nodded again, with a comprehensive survey of the reeking floor.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
We found ourselves in rather a big room, reeking with the smell of tobacco.My Double Life
The beauty of that form, though headless, mutilated and reeking with the hot blood of their foul crime—how shall I describe it?The Secret Memoirs of Louis XV./XVI, Complete
Madame du Hausset, an "Unknown English Girl" and the Princess Lamballe
How can you expect me to love you, now that you are reeking with the blood of Camille?Therese Raquin
Think of air not reeking with gasolene and a street safe to cross at any time!Tales of Fishes
- (intr) to give off or emit a strong unpleasant odour; smell or stink
- (intr often foll by of) to be permeated (by); be redolent (of)the letter reeks of subservience
- (tr) to treat with smoke; fumigate
- (tr) mainly dialect to give off or emit (smoke, fumes, vapour, etc)
- a strong offensive smell; stink
- mainly dialect smoke or steam; vapour
Word Origin and History for reeking
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.
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.)).