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From Middle High German [Term?], from Old High German riohhan, from Proto-West Germanic *reukan, from Proto-Germanic *reukaną.

Compare English reek, Dutch rieken, Danish ryge, Swedish ryka. See also Rauch.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʀiːçn̩/, /ˈʀiːçən/
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riechen (class 2 strong, third-person singular simple present riecht, past tense roch, past participle gerochen, past subjunctive röche, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to smell (something); to sniff (something)
  2. (intransitive) to use the sense of smell; to detect a smell
  3. (intransitive) to smell something
    Ich rieche dein Parfüm.
    I smell your perfume.
  4. (intransitive) to reek; to smell bad
  5. (copulative, [nach (+ dative) — like]) to smell
    Im Haus riecht es nach gebratenem Fisch.
    In the house it smells like fried fish.
    Der Kuchen riecht lecker!
    The cake smells delicious!
  6. (transitive, slang) to tolerate (someone); to stand (someone)
    Ich kann ihn nicht riechen.
    I cannot stand him.


Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • riechen” in Duden online
  • riechen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache