- gladly; willingly: I would as lief go south as not.
- willing; desirous.
- dear; beloved; treasured.
Origin of lief
Examples from the Web for lief
“They learn about what it is that drove them to these lengths,” says Lief.Can Sex-Addiction Rehab Save Tiger?
December 18, 2009
So we said we'd as lief wait a spell, though a clean pinny wasn't needed.Quaint Courtships
For he would as lief be a victim of success, he assures us, as to forego his mojadderah.The Book of Khalid
It's like ye'd as lief be in this snug room as on the fell to-neet, Ralph?The Shadow of a Crime
How should the "faithful esquire" whose faith is mistrusted still be lief and dear?Hiero
But I'd as lief encounter a West India hurricane or a simoom.
- rare gladly; willinglyI'd as lief go today as tomorrow
- ready; glad
- dear; beloved
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.