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[woond; Older Use and Literary wound] /wund; Older Use and Literary waʊnd/
an injury, usually involving division of tissue or rupture of the integument or mucous membrane, due to external violence or some mechanical agency rather than disease.
a similar injury to the tissue of a plant.
an injury or hurt to feelings, sensibilities, reputation, etc.
verb (used with object)
to inflict a wound upon; injure; hurt.
verb (used without object)
to inflict a wound.
lick one's wounds, to attempt to heal one's injuries or soothe one's hurt feelings after a defeat.
Origin of wound1
before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English wund; cognate with Old High German wunta (German Wunde), Old Norse und, Gothic wunds; (v.) Middle English wounden, Old English wundian, derivative of the noun
Related forms
woundedly, adverb
woundingly, adverb
1. cut, stab, laceration, lesion, trauma. See injury. 3. insult, pain, anguish. 4. harm, damage; cut, stab, lacerate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for lick one's wounds


any break in the skin or an organ or part as the result of violence or a surgical incision
an injury to plant tissue
any injury or slight to the feelings or reputation
to inflict a wound or wounds upon (someone or something)
Derived Forms
woundable, adjective
wounder, noun
wounding, adjective
woundingly, adverb
woundless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wund; related to Old Frisian wunde, Old High German wunta (German Wunde), Old Norse und, Gothic wunds


the past tense and past participle of wind2
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 lick one's wounds



Old English wund "hurt, injury," from Proto-Germanic *wundaz (cf. Old Saxon wunda, Old Norse und, Old Frisian wunde, Old High German wunta, German wunde "wound"), perhaps from PIE root *wen- "to beat, wound."


Old English wundian, from the source of wound (n.). Cognate with Old Frisian wundia, Middle Dutch and Dutch wonden, Old High German wunton, German verwunden, Gothic gawundon. Figurative use from c.1200. Related: Wounded; wounding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lick one's wounds in Medicine

wound (wōōnd)

  1. Injury to a part or tissue of the body, especially one caused by physical trauma and characterized by tearing, cutting, piercing, or breaking of the tissue.

  2. An incision.

wound v.
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 lick one's wounds

lick one's wounds

verb phrase

To attempt to heal one's injuries or hurt feelings



  1. (also wired up) Intoxicated by narcotics, esp cocaine or amphetamines; high, spaced-out: ''If you're wired, you're fired,'' is how Willie Nelson warns band members about cocaine usage/ That night Elvis was wired for speed (1970s+ Narcotics)
  2. (also wired up) Eagerly excited; overstimulated; high, hyper, jacked up: Keeping the people wired with a mix of Sixties vines and Eighties technology/ They have him wired up tight with the slogans of TV and the World Series (1970s+)
  3. Anxious; nervous; uptight: I got wired when Myrt was sneaking a break and Jerry showed up (1970s+)
  4. (also wired up) Certain and secure; totally under control; assured; racked, taped: Mention of all those other top contenders is just a smokescreen and Brown's got it wired/ Then I get this wired up and I think, well (1950s+ fr poker)
  5. Wearing an eavesdropping device; having such a device planted; bugged: He's wired. He's wearing a tape recorder (1957+)

Related Terms

cool as a christian with aces wired, have something cinched

[fr wire as conducting an electrical charge or stimulus, or as used for binding; wired up is recorded as a US term for ''irritated, provoked'' in the late 1800s and may be related to the sense ''anxious, nervous'']

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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Idioms and Phrases with lick one's wounds

lick one's wounds

Recuperate from injuries or hurt feelings. For example, They were badly beaten in the debate and went home sadly to lick their wounds. This expression alludes to an animal's behavior when wounded. It was originally put as lick oneself clean or whole, dating from the mid-1500s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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