Leech Definition

lēch
leeched, leeches, leeching
noun
leeches
Any of a subclass (Hirudinea) of mostly flattened, annelid worms living in water or wet earth and having a well-developed sucker at each end: most are bloodsuckers, and one species (Hirudo medicinalis) has been used in medicine, esp. in former times, to bleed patients.
Webster's New World
A physician.
Webster's New World
A person who clings to another to gain some personal advantage; parasite.
Webster's New World
Either of the vertical edges of a square sail.
Webster's New World
The after edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
Webster's New World
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verb
To heal.
Webster's New World
To act as a parasite.
Webster's New World
To apply leeches to; bleed with leeches.
Webster's New World
To cling to (another) as a parasite; drain dry.
Webster's New World
To attach oneself to another in the manner of a leech.
American Heritage
Synonyms:
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Other Word Forms of Leech

Noun

Singular:
leech
Plural:
leeches

Origin of Leech

  • From Middle English leche (“physician"), from Old English lǣċe (“doctor, physician"), from Proto-Germanic *lÄ“kijaz (“doctor"), from Proto-Indo-European *lÄ“g(')- (“doctor"). Cognate with Old Frisian lÄ“tza (“physician"), Old Saxon lāki (“physician"), Old High German lāhhi (“doctor, healer"), Danish læge (“doctor, surgeon"), Gothic 𐌻𐌴𐌺𐌴𐌹𐍃 (lekeis, “physician"), Old Irish líaig (“exorcist, doctor").

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English lek, leche, lyche, from Old Norse lík (“leechline"), from Proto-Germanic *lÄ«kÄ… (compare West Frisian lyk (“band"), Dutch lijk (“boltrope"), Middle High German geleich (“joint, limb")), from Proto-Indo-European *leiĝ- "˜to bind' (compare Latin ligō (“tie, bind"), Ukrainian налигати (nalýhaty, “to bridle, fetter"), Albanian lidh (“to bind")).

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English leche (“blood-sucking worm"), from Old English lǣċe (“blood-sucking worm"), akin to Middle Dutch lāke (“blood-sucking worm") (Dutch laak).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English leche probably from Middle Low German līk leech line leig- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English leche physician, leech from Old English lǣce leg- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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