9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[lik-er-ish, lik-rish, lik-uh-ris] /ˈlɪk ər ɪʃ, ˈlɪk rɪʃ, ˈlɪk ə rɪs/
a Eurasian plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra, of the legume family.
the sweet-tasting, dried root of this plant or an extract made from it, used in medicine, confectionery, etc.
a candy flavored with licorice root.
any of various related or similar plants.
Also, liquorice.
Origin of licorice
1175-1225; Middle English lycorys < Anglo-French < Vulgar Latin *liquiritia for Latin glycyrrhiza < Greek glykýrriza sweetroot (plant), equivalent to glyký(s) sweet + rhíza root1; see -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for licorice
  • licorice, a common additive, becomes co-carcinogenic when burned.
  • Ditto antioxidants found in pomegranates, red wine and licorice root.
  • The last experiment replaced songs with a variety of jellybeans, from green apple to licorice.
  • Some licorice products don't contain extracts from the actual root and instead use anise to achieve a similar flavor.
  • To make feathers, thread gumdrops and licorice onto the skewers.
  • Weight-watchers can make desserts with herbs such as sweet cicely or licorice.
  • Bright, spicy cherries with a red licorice edge softened by lavender.
  • Soothe sweet tooth cravings with too many flavors of licorice to list here.
  • Star anise combines the sweet taste of licorice with lots of heat.
  • Rich, full-bodied and a touch sweet with flavors of licorice and figs.
British Dictionary definitions for licorice


the usual US and Canadian spelling of liquorice


/ˈlɪkərɪs; -ərɪʃ/
a perennial Mediterranean leguminous shrub, Glycyrrhiza glabra, having spikes of pale blue flowers and flat red-brown pods
the dried root of this plant, used as a laxative and in confectionery
a sweet having a liquorice flavour
Word Origin
C13: via Anglo-Norman and Old French from Late Latin liquirītia, from Latin glycyrrhīza, from Greek glukurrhiza, from glukus sweet + rhiza root
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 licorice

also liquorice, c.1200, from Anglo-French lycoryc, Old French licorece (also recolice), from Late Latin liquiritia, alteration of Latin glychyrrhiza, from Greek glykyrrhiza, literally "sweet root," from glykys "sweet" (see glucose) + rhiza "root" (see radish); form influenced in Latin by liquere "become fluid," because of the method of extracting the sweet stuff from the root. French réglisse, Italian regolizia are the same word, with metathesis of -l- and -r-.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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