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See also: Reck and Réck


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English recken, rekken, reken, from Old Norse rœkja (compare Old English rēċċan, rēċan (to care, reck, take care of, be interested in, care for, desire); whence English retch), from Proto-Germanic *rōkijaną (to care, take care), from Proto-Indo-European *rēǵ-, *rēg- (to care, help). Cognate with obsolete Dutch roeken, Low German roken, ruken (to reck, care), German geruhen (to deign, condescend), Icelandic rækja (to care, regard, discharge), Danish røgte (to care, tend).



reck (third-person singular simple present recks, present participle recking, simple past and past participle recked or (obsolete) rought, raught)

  1. (transitive or intransitive, archaic) To make account of; to care for; to heed, regard, consider.
    • 1603, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act 1, Scene 3:
      Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
      Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
      Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
      Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
      And recks not his own rede.
    • 1835, William Gilmore Simms, The Partisan, Harper, Chapter XI, page 136:
      She recks not now, as of old, whether her word carries with it the sting or the sweet—it is not now in her thought to ask whether pain or pleasure follows the thoughtless slight or the scornful pleasantry. The victim suffers, but she recks not of his grief.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, Chapter 13:
      Little recked he perhaps for what she felt, that dull aching void in her heart sometimes, piercing to the core.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II, line 50:
      ...with that care lost
      went all his fear: of God, or hell, or worse
      he recked not...
    • 1822, John E. Hall (ed.), The Port Folio, vol. XIV:
      Little thou reck'st of this sad store!
      Would thou might never reck them more!
    • 1900, Ernest Dowson, Villanelle of Marguerite's, lines 10-11:
      She knows us not, nor recks if she enthrall
      With voice and eyes and fashion of her hair []
  2. (transitive or intransitive, archaic, dialectal) To concern, to be important or earnest.
    Hit ne recketh! (= It recks not!)
    • 1637, John Milton, Lycidas:
      What recks it them?
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To think.

Derived terms[edit]