verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Verb Phrases

reckon with,
  1. to include in consideration or planning; anticipate: He hadn't reckoned with so many obstacles.
  2. to deal with: I have to reckon with many problems every day.

Nearby words

  1. recklessness,
  2. recklinghausen,
  3. recklinghausen's disease,
  4. recklinghausen's disease of bone,
  5. recklinghausen's tumor,
  6. reckon with,
  7. reckoner,
  8. reckoning,
  9. reclaim,
  10. reclaimant

Origin of reckon

before 1000; Middle English rekenen, Old English gerecenian (attested once) to report, pay; cognate with German rechnen to compute

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for reckon with



to calculate or ascertain by calculating; compute
(tr) to include; count as part of a set or classI reckon her with the angels
(usually passive) to consider or regardhe is reckoned clever
(when tr, takes a clause as object) to think or suppose; be of the opinionI reckon you don't know where to go next
(intr foll by with) to settle accounts (with)
(intr ; foll by with or without) to take into account or fail to take into accountthe bully reckoned without John's big brother
(intr ; foll by on or upon) to rely or dependI reckon on your support in this crisis
(tr) slang to regard as goodI don't reckon your chances of success
(tr) informal to have a high opinion ofshe was sensitive to bad reviews, even from people she did not reckon
to be reckoned with of considerable importance or influence

Word Origin for reckon

Old English (ge) recenian recount; related to Old Frisian rekenia, Old High German rehhanón to count

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 reckon with



c.1200, recenen, from Old English gerecenian "to explain, relate, recount," from West Germanic *(ga)rekenojanan (cf. Old Frisian rekenia, Middle Dutch and Dutch rekenen, Old High German rehhanon, German rechnen, Gothic rahnjan "to count, reckon"), from Proto-Germanic *rakinaz "ready, straightforward," from PIE *reg- "to move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "direct in a straight line, rule" (see regal).

Intransitive sense "make a computation" is from c.1300. In I reckon, the sense is "hold an impression or opinion," and the expression, used parenthetically, dates from c.1600 and formerly was in literary use (Richardson, etc.), but came to be associated with U.S. Southern dialect and was regarded as provincial or vulgar. Related: Reckoned; reckoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with reckon with

reckon with


Take into account, be prepared for, as in The third-party movement is a force to be reckoned with during the primaries. This usage was first recorded in 1885.


Deal with, as in Your lost wallet isn't the only problem we have to reckon with. Also see take into account.


In addition to the idiom beginning with reckon

  • reckon with

also see:

  • force to be reckoned with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.