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Denotation vs. Connotation

leach1

[leech] /litʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to dissolve out soluble constituents from (ashes, soil, etc.) by percolation.
2.
to cause (water or other liquid) to percolate through something.
verb (used without object)
3.
(of ashes, soil, etc.) to undergo the action of percolating water.
4.
to percolate, as water.
noun
5.
the act or process of leaching.
6.
a product or solution obtained by leaching; leachate.
7.
the material leached.
8.
a vessel for use in leaching.
Origin of leach1
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English leche leachate, infusion, probably Old English *læc(e), *lec(e), akin to leccan to wet, moisten, causative of leak
Related forms
leachable, adjective
leachability, noun
leacher, noun
unleached, adjective

leach2

[leech] /litʃ/
noun, Nautical
1.
leech3 .

leech3

or leach

[leech] /litʃ/
noun, Nautical
1.
either of the lateral edges of a square sail.
2.
the after edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
Origin
1480-90; earlier lek, leche, lyche; akin to Dutch lijk leech, Old Norse līk nautical term of uncertain meaning
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for leach
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Neuerthelesse the pike is frend vnto the tench, as to his leach & surgeon.

  • The next instant, Mr. leach reported the anchor catted and fished.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • Smallest of our petrels, and darker than either the leach or Wilson; tail square; upper tail coverts white, tipped with black.

    Bird Guide Chester A. Reed
  • Heave the hussy up to her anchor, Mr. leach, when we will cast an eye to her moorings.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • The words were no sooner spoken than Mr. leach jumped up on the gunwale and waved his hat.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • After the lecture, I went with Mr leach in a cab to his home.

    Adventures and Recollections Bill o'th' Hoylus End
  • About two and one-half miles north of the fair ground, leach Lake reposes by the road-side.

British Dictionary definitions for leach

leach1

/liːtʃ/
verb
1.
to remove or be removed from a substance by a percolating liquid
2.
to lose or cause to lose soluble substances by the action of a percolating liquid
3.
another word for percolate (sense 1), percolate (sense 2)
noun
4.
the act or process of leaching
5.
a substance that is leached or the constituents removed by leaching
6.
a porous vessel for leaching
Derived Forms
leacher, noun
Word Origin
C17: variant of obsolete letch to wet, perhaps from Old English leccan to water; related to leak

leach2

/liːtʃ/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of leech2

Leach

/liːtʃ/
noun
1.
Bernard (Howell). 1887–1979, British potter, born in Hong Kong

leech1

/liːtʃ/
noun
1.
any annelid worm of the class Hirudinea, which have a sucker at each end of the body and feed on the blood or tissues of other animals See also horseleech, medicinal leech
2.
a person who clings to or preys on another person
3.
  1. an archaic word for physician
  2. (in combination): leechcraft
4.
cling like a leech, to cling or adhere persistently to something
verb
5.
(transitive) to use leeches to suck the blood of (a person), as a method of medical treatment
Derived Forms
leechlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English lǣce, lœce; related to Middle Dutch lieke

leech2

/liːtʃ/
noun
1.
(nautical) the after edge of a fore-and-aft sail or either of the vertical edges of a squaresail
Word Origin
C15: of Germanic origin; compare Dutch lijk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for leach
v.

Old English leccan "to moisten, water, wet, irrigate," (see leak). The word disappears, then re-emerges late 18c. in a technological sense in reference to percolating liquids. Related: Leached; leaching.

leech

n.

"bloodsucking aquatic worm," from Old English læce (Kentish lyce), of unknown origin (with a cognate in Middle Dutch lake). Commonly regarded as a transferred use of leech (n.2), but the Old English forms suggest a distinct word, which has been assimilated to leech (n.2) by folk etymology [see OED]. Figuratively applied to human parasites since 1784.

obsolete for "physician," from Old English læce, probably from Old Danish læke, from Proto-Germanic *lekjaz "enchanter, one who speaks magic words; healer, physician" (cf. Old Frisian letza, Old Saxon laki, Old Norse læknir, Old High German lahhi, Gothic lekeis "physician"), literally "one who counsels," perhaps connected with a root found in Celtic (cf. Irish liaig "charmer, exorcist, physician") and Slavic (cf. Serbo-Croatian lijekar, Polish lekarz), from PIE *lep-agi "conjurer," from root *leg- "to collect," with derivatives meaning "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).

For sense development, cf. Old Church Slavonic baliji "doctor," originally "conjurer," related to Serbo-Croatian bajati "enchant, conjure;" Old Church Slavonic vrači, Russian vrač "doctor," related to Serbo-Croatian vrač "sorcerer, fortune-teller." The form merged with leech (n.1) in Middle English, apparently by folk etymology. In 17c., leech usually was applied only to veterinary practitioners. The fourth finger of the hand, in Old English, was læcfinger, translating Latin digitus medicus, Greek daktylus iatrikos, supposedly because a vein from that finger stretches straight to the heart.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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leach in Medicine

leech 1 (lēch)
n.
Any of various chiefly aquatic bloodsucking or carnivorous annelid worms of the class Hirudinea, one species of which (Hirudo medicinalis) was formerly used by physicians to bleed patients. v. leeched, leech·ing, leech·es
To bleed with leeches.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for leach

leech

noun

A human parasite (1784+)

verb

: insisted that MCI was not leeching off the successful campaign of its competition (1960s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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