any bloodsucking or carnivorous aquatic or terrestrial worm of the class Hirudinea, certain freshwater species of which were formerly much used in medicine for bloodletting.
a person who clings to another for personal gain, especially without giving anything in return, and usually with the implication or effect of exhausting the other's resources; parasite.
Archaic. an instrument used for drawing blood.
to apply leeches to, so as to bleed.
to cling to and feed upon or drain, as a leech: His relatives leeched him until his entire fortune was exhausted.
Archaic. to cure; heal.
to hang on to a person in the manner of a leech: She leeched on to him for dear life.
- leechlike, adjective
Other definitions for leech (2 of 4)
Other definitions for leech (3 of 4)
either of the lateral edges of a square sail.
the after edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
Other definitions for Leech (4 of 4)
Margaret, 1893–1974, U.S. historian, novelist, and biographer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use leech in a sentence
The trick, says Phillips, was to scoop up a leech before it could bite you.Some ecologists value parasites — and now want a plan to save them | Stephen Ornes | September 22, 2022 | Science News For Students
Annelids, Mollusks, Cnidarians, and NematodesAnnelids are segmented worms like earthworms or leeches, with over 22,000 living species on this planet.
On a canoe trip down the Spanish River in northern Ontario last month, my friends and I kept noticing an unusually high concentration of really, really big leeches lurking at the shores of our campsites.
Treatment involved a “toxic arsenal of emetics, laxatives, diuretics, and expectorants” as well as “lances, leeches, and blisters.”Determined to practice medicine, two sisters defied conventions | Janet Golden | February 5, 2021 | Washington Post
If neglected, any system can become a host upon which all other systems will leech.
To live with anxiety is to live with a leech that saps you of your energy, confidence, and chutzpah.How to Cure Your Anxiety? Read Henry James’s ‘The Portrait of a Lady,’ Of Course. | Ella Berthoud, Susan Elderkind | September 26, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) and Branson (Allen leech) got married and were happy.‘Borgen,’ ‘Girls,’ ‘Parenthood,’ ‘Mad Men’ & More: Ten Best TV Shows of 2012 | Jace Lacob, Maria Elena Fernandez | December 18, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Verily, there is not a leech that sucks out the blood from the body more than these little ships do this camp of men.
leech, the caricaturist,—one of the most absurdly over-rated men of this century,—was at Charterhouse from 1825 to 1831.The Portsmouth Road and Its Tributaries | Charles G. Harper
The old lady overhead has a shrewd tongue, but she is a marvellous good leech.A Prince of Cornwall | Charles W. Whistler
It seemed as if the whole awful creature were simply gorged with blood; he lay like a filthy leech, exhausted with his repletion.Dracula | Bram Stoker
The viper says to the leech, ‘Why do people invite your bite, and flee from mine?’The Romany Rye | George Borrow
British Dictionary definitions for leech (1 of 2)
a person who clings to or preys on another person
an archaic word for physician
(in combination): leechcraft
cling like a leech to cling or adhere persistently to something
(tr) to use leeches to suck the blood of (a person), as a method of medical treatment
- leechlike, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for leech (2 of 2)
nautical the after edge of a fore-and-aft sail or either of the vertical edges of a squaresail
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