|1.||horseleech See also medicinal leech 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|
|2.||a person who clings to or preys on another person|
|3.||a. an archaic word for physician|
|b. (in combination): leechcraft|
|4.||cling like a leech to cling or adhere persistently to something|
|5.||(tr) to use leeches to suck the blood of (a person), as a method of medical treatment|
|[Old English lǣce, lœce; related to Middle Dutch lieke]|
leech 1 (lēch)
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 application of a living leech to the skin in order to initiate blood flow or deplete blood from a localized area of the body. Through the 19th century leeching was frequently practiced in Europe, Asia, and America to deplete the body of quantities of blood, in a manner similar to bloodletting. Today, however, leeching is resorted to only on occasion to restore blood flow to areas of damaged veins after an appendage has been reattached or a tissue grafted. The species of leech most commonly used for this purpose is the European medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, an aquatic segmented worm whose bloodsucking capabilities once made it a valuable commercial item
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