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Leech

[leech] /litʃ/
noun
1.
Margaret, 1893–1974, U.S. historian, novelist, and biographer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for m. leech

leech1

/liːtʃ/
noun
1.
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 See also horseleech, medicinal leech
2.
a person who clings to or preys on another person
3.
  1. an archaic word for physician
  2. (in combination) leechcraft
4.
cling like a leech, to cling or adhere persistently to something
verb
5.
(transitive) to use leeches to suck the blood of (a person), as a method of medical treatment
Derived Forms
leechlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English lǣce, lœce; related to Middle Dutch lieke

leech2

/liːtʃ/
noun
1.
(nautical) the after edge of a fore-and-aft sail or either of the vertical edges of a squaresail
Word Origin
C15: of Germanic origin; compare Dutch lijk
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 m. leech
leech
"bloodsucking aquatic worm," from O.E. læce (Kentish lyce), of unknown origin (with a cognate in M.Du. lake). Commonly regarded as a transf. use of leech (2), but the O.E. forms suggest a distinct word, which has been assimilated to leech (2) by folk etymology. Figuratively applied to human parasites since 1784.
leech
obsolete for "physician," from O.E. læce, from O.Dan. læke, from P.Gmc. *lælijaz "healer, physician" (cf. O.N. læknir, O.H.G. lahhi, Goth. lekeis "physician"), lit. "one who counsels," perhaps connected with a root found in Celt. (cf. Ir. liaig "charmer, exorcist, physician") and/or Slavic (cf. Serbo-Croatian lijekar), with an original sense of "speak, talk, whisper, conjurer." The form and sense merged with leech (1) in M.E. by folk etymology. In 17c., leech usually was applied only to veterinary practitioners. The third finger of the hand, in O.E., was læcfinger, translating L. digitus medicus, Gk. daktylus iatrikos, supposedly because a vein from that finger stretches straight to the heart.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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m. leech in Medicine

leech 1 (lēch)
n.
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 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 m. leech

leech

noun

A human parasite (1784+)

verb

: insisted that MCI was not leeching off the successful campaign of its competition (1960s+)


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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