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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recked

Historical Examples of recked

  • She said Arthur was good enough for Clare; it recked not whom Clare wedded withal.

    Clare Avery

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Little had they recked of either for many a dread hour past!

  • The explanation must come—of that, burning with curiosity as he was, he recked little.

    The Mermaid

    Lily Dougall

  • I cared but little about the disgrace; I recked not of the danger.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

  • Was he so confident—so sure of her heart, that he recked not thus leaving her alone with me?

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for recked


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 for reck

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

Word Origin and History for recked



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