reek

1 of 2

noun

1
chiefly dialectal : smoke
2
: vapor, fog
3
: a strong or disagreeable fume or odor

reek

2 of 2

verb

reeked; reeking; reeks

intransitive verb

1
: to emit smoke or vapor
2
a
: to give off or become permeated with a strong or offensive odor
a room reeking of incense
b
: to give a strong impression of some constituent quality or feature
a neighborhood that reeks of poverty
3

transitive verb

1
: to subject to the action of smoke or vapor
2
: exude, give off
a politician who reeks charm
reeker noun
reeky adjective

Examples of reek in a Sentence

Noun a terrible reek coming from the garbage can couldn't see through the reek of smog and smoke surrounding the steel plant Verb those old sneakers reek something awful
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This reeks of another orchestrated PR move, plain and simple. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 5 Jan. 2024 Even the charming presence of Lofty, the Oompa Loompa, depends on an element of backstory that reeks of absurdity. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 11 Dec. 2023 Some, like Andy or his wife (Marling), are purposely hard to read, given that their smallest interactions reek of performativity. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Nov. 2023 Mill Pond, connected to Crow River, reeks because of oxygen depletion over the long winter. Katie Barsotti, The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2023 Peltz’s campaign against Disney reeks of a personal vendetta against Iger rather than a compelling strategic vision for value creation. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 7 Nov. 2023 Now, from my perspective, that reeks of a backroom deal. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2023 To some, flipping someone so productive and so young with a full season and postseason remaining will reek of decision-making fueled by an all-you-can-drink North Park brunch. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2023 Late in that film, Antonio Banderas’ character has a conversation with a former partner that reeks of finality. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2023
Verb
The Royals reeked with a 5.17 ERA that was third-from-worst in the majors last year. 6. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Sometimes, he was approached by neighbors out on parole for various crimes, who reeked of alcohol. Emily Davies, Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2024 Whether Tesla will budge is still up in the air — air that will start reeking of piled garbage starting on December 24th when the strike begins. Umar Shakir, The Verge, 13 Dec. 2023 Luxury brands need to find ways to unload their growing pile of unsold stock without reeking of desperation. Carol Ryan, WSJ, 8 Dec. 2023 Northern Gaza — a vital center of Palestinian culture and identity — has become a smoking, reeking ruin. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2023 Some officers rushed outside, gasped for air and became violently ill after walking inside the dark, dingy property that had no electricity and reeked of death. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 24 Sep. 2023 Then again, that Angels move reeked of desperation at the potential risk of a player’s development. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 7 Sep. 2023 More than a dozen clients recently found their pets neglected and in danger, some with serious injuries and reeking of urine and feces. Helen Li, Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reek.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English rek, from Old English rēc; akin to Old High German rouh smoke

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of reek was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near reek

Cite this Entry

“Reek.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reek. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

reek

1 of 2 noun
1
2
: a strong or disagreeable fume or odor

reek

2 of 2 verb
1
: to give off smoke or vapor
2
a
: to have a strong or unpleasant smell
the kitchen reeks of garlic
clothes reeking of tobacco smoke
b
: to give a strong impression of some feature or quality
she reeks of snobbery
reeky adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on reek

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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