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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for licorice
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Or a "pay back sperrit" as licorice Stick might have called him.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • No "sperrit" of licorice Stick's acquaintance had ever cast a spell like this.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • "I done gone make no fools of you, no how:" licorice Stick exclaimed.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • licorice Stick's encounters with "sperrits" had never brought him a cent.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • What had she heard that, if it were known, would cost Abraham and licorice their lives?

    Earl Hubert's Daughter Emily Sarah Holt
  • If licorice hated Christians before, she hates them tenfold now.

    Earl Hubert's Daughter Emily Sarah Holt
  • “It is too late for that,” said licorice, with a short, contemptuous laugh.

    Earl Hubert's Daughter Emily Sarah Holt
British Dictionary definitions for licorice


the usual US and Canadian spelling of liquorice
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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