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reek Syllabification: reek

Definition of reek in English:


[no object]
1Smell strongly and unpleasantly; stink: the yard reeked of wet straw and stale horse manure (as adjective reeking) the reeking lavatories
More example sentences
  • The nurse's office smelled - or rather, reeked - strongly of iodine and disinfectant.
  • I remember the whole area reeked with the smell of burnt flesh for weeks and weeks after.
  • What about the seats - some of them reek with manky stinks going back decades.
1.1Be suggestive of something unpleasant or undesirable: the speeches reeked of anti-Semitism
More example sentences
  • Coming as it does in a period when many cash-strapped independent schools face the prospect of mergers or closure, he suggests that the initiative reeks more of marketing than a genuine desire to stimulate debate.
  • The spin on the Telegraph story is so blatant that it reeks of desperation.
  • To be honest, the Informix purchase reeks of desperation to me.
1.2 archaic Give off smoke, steam, or fumes: while temples crash, and towers in ashes reek


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1 [in singular] A foul smell: the reek of cattle dung
More example sentences
  • Her shoes are off, and she hopes her feet don't smell - at least not enough so that he can smell them through the reek of drunkenness and cigarettes.
  • I stumbled into someone's chest and immediately smelled the reek of alcohol.
  • It's dark in there, and I can smell the reek of alcohol from where I waver on the sidewalk.
stink, bad smell, stench, fetor, whiff
literary miasma
2chiefly Scottish Smoke.


Example sentences
  • She hangs around a lot in graveyards and reeky allies where the garbage usually is because that's where demons love to hang around.


Old English rēocan 'give out smoke or vapor', rēc (noun) 'smoke', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rieken 'to smell', rook 'smoke', German riechen 'to smell', Rauch 'smoke'.

  • We think of a reek today as an unpleasant smell, but in Old English the word meant ‘smoke’. This gave us the traditional name, used since at least the beginning of the 19th century, of Auld Reekie (‘Old Smoky’) for Edinburgh.

Words that rhyme with reek

antique, batik, beak, bespeak, bezique, bleak, boutique, cacique, caïque, cheek, chic, clique, creak, creek, critique, Dominique, eke, freak, geek, Greek, hide-and-seek, keek, Lalique, leak, leek, Martinique, meek, midweek, Mozambique, Mustique, mystique, oblique, opéra comique, ortanique, peak, Peake, peek, physique, pique, pratique, seek, shriek, Sikh, sleek, sneak, speak, Speke, squeak, streak, teak, technique, tongue-in-cheek, tweak, unique, veronique, weak, week, wreak
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