They overturn stones for mice and lick up the accumulations of chilled insects which they find along the snow and ice fields.
They wallow in the fat brewiss of my bounty, and lick up the crumbs of my table, yet will not rise to see my walks cleansed.
It blows down through the pass before us and it will lick up this snow in no time.
But I'll not see a tied man tormented by a fellow that he can lick up the ground with, loose, and that's flat.
And let them lick up Mr. Toplady's spittle still; a champion worthy of their cause.'
Then the wasp began in ghoulish ecstasy to lick up the sweet stuff, utterly absorbed in the feast.
They lick up the larva of insects greedily, turning over great logs to get at them.
Then Buster shuffled on to roll over an old log and lick up the ants he found under it.
The graceless creatures cry "hands off," and release him at once, while they lick up his spoils and carry it off to their home.
The streets run east and west in order that the blazing sun may lick up the moisture.
Old English liccian "to pass the tongue over the surface, lap, lick up," from Proto-Germanic *likkon (cf. Old Saxon likkon, Dutch likken, Old High German lecchon, German lecken, Gothic bi-laigon), from PIE imitative base *leigh- (cf. Sanskrit ledhi "he licks," Armenian lizum "I lick," Greek leikhein "to lick," Latin lingere "to lick," Old Irish ligim "I lick," Welsh llwy "spoon"). French lécher is a Germanic loan word.
To lick (someone or something) into shape (1610s) is in reference to the supposed ways of bears:
Beres ben brought forthe al fowle and transformyd and after that by lyckyng of the fader and the moder they ben brought in to theyr kyndely shap. ["The Pylgremage of the Sowle," 1413]
"to beat," 1535, perhaps from figurative use of lick (v.1) in the Coverdale bible that year in sense of "defeat, annihilate" (an enemy's forces) in Num. xxii:4:
Now shal this heape licke up all that is about vs, euen as an oxe licketh vp the grasse in the field.But to lick (of) the whip "taste punishment" is attested from mid-15c.
"an act of licking," c.1600, from lick (v.1). Meaning "small portion" is 1814, originally Scottish; hence U.S. colloquial sense. Sense of "place where an animal goes to lick salt" is from 1747. The jazz music sense of "short figure or solo" is by 1922.