- 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 for reek on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for reeks
Nolte's Breitbart report on Dunham's "Barry" reeks of obliviousness.The Right's Rape Trolls vs. Lena Dunham
December 10, 2014
Indeed, the Sooner State has lately taken pride in pushing back against anything that reeks of progressive-ness.Solar Power Burns Old Utilities’ Business Models
April 24, 2014
This is the kind of weak language that reeks of State Department memo writing and should never be uttered in public.President Obama’s Belgian Waffle
March 27, 2014
It reeks of desperation and signals an inability to come to grips with modernity.The GOP’s Racial Handicap
October 28, 2013
It reeks of Stockholm syndrome—Romney seems to think his captors are his friends.Mitt Romney’s Stockholm Syndrome Behavior
May 30, 2012
I sha'n't take anything at the refreshment bar, it reeks of the Institute.His Masterpiece
Dunwood House reeks of commerce and snobbery and all the things he hated most.The Longest Journey
E. M. Forster
But the evidence of Reeks convinced for the instant even sceptics.
An English merchantman, belonging to one Reeks of Ratcliff, lay in the harbour.
The Englishman vows the Italian reeks with the scent of garlic.On the Mexican Highlands
William Seymour Edwards
- (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 reeks
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.)).