Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[leef] /lif/
gladly; willingly:
I would as lief go south as not.
adjective, Archaic.
willing; desirous.
dear; beloved; treasured.
Origin of lief
before 900; Middle English leef, Old English lēof; cognate with Dutch lief, German lieb, Old Norse ljufr, Gothic liufs; akin to love
Related forms
liefly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lief
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If they had just as lief go to Belfast as anywhere else, I'll run up there.

    Little Bobtail Oliver Optic
  • Nat would as lief shoot Hebby or anyone else who trailed you.

    Penny of Top Hill Trail Belle Kanaris Maniates
  • It seemed to me then that I would as lief be shot and have done with it.

    Carette of Sark John Oxenham
  • Nevertheless, lief, the son of Eric, did not think much of his find.

    This Giddy Globe Oliver Herford
  • If there was no one on earth dependent on me I'd as lief you'd shoot me to-morrow.

    A Wounded Name Charles King
  • I—I—by Jove, I'd as lief lose my man again as let them have a hand in taking him!

    Stingaree E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • I found Mahletonkwa had just as lief trade as fight, and a bit more so.

    Lone Pine R. B. (Richard Baxter) Townshend
  • But if it turned out to be my best chum I'd just as lief thump him as not.

    Fred Fenton on the Track Allen Chapman
  • I'd as lief get wet through in the open as perish with cold in this fog-laden room.

    The Winning of the Golden Spurs Percy F. Westerman
British Dictionary definitions for lief


(rare) gladly; willingly: I'd as lief go today as tomorrow
  1. ready; glad
  2. dear; beloved
Word Origin
Old English leof; related to lufu love
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lief

Old English leof "dear, valued, beloved, pleasant;" also as a noun, "a beloved person, friend," from Proto-Germanic *leubo- (cf. Old Norse ljutr, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs "dear, beloved"), from PIE root *leubh- "love" (see love (n.)). As an adverb, "dearly, willingly" from c.1250. I want and I'd love to are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when I would lief faded in 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for lief

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lief

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for lief