- gladly; willingly: I would as lief go south as not.
- willing; desirous.
- dear; beloved; treasured.
Origin of lief
Examples from the Web for liefer
If these be taken from me, I am poor indeed, and I'd liefer die than live in shame.Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer
Cyrus Townsend Brady
"I'd liefer haul out the pinnace," replied Alden with a grimace.Standish of Standish
Jane G. Austin
Liefer I would die than live a life of shame, and therefore slay me!King Arthur's Knights
I wonder you wouldn't have him liefer than go into one of them hospitals.Miss Mackenzie
He said he had liefer go; and the king said: "Then am I the more content."The Story Of Frithiof The Bold
- rare gladly; willinglyI'd as lief go today as tomorrow
- ready; glad
- dear; beloved
Word Origin and History for liefer
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.