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From Middle High German [Term?], from Old High German riohhan, 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. (intransitive) to smell (nach like)
    Im Haus riecht es nach (+ Dat) gebratenem Fisch.
    In the house it smells like fried fish.
  6. (transitive, slang) to tolerate (someone); to stand (someone)
    Ich kann ihn nicht riechen.
    I cannot stand him.


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