verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of leech1
Synonyms for leech
Origin of leech2
Origin of leech3
Examples from the Web for leech
Contemporary Examples of leech
If neglected, any system can become a host upon which all other systems will leech.Argentina’s Drag & Drop Democracy
March 12, 2014
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
Historical Examples of leech
Perhaps he knows better how deep his hurts are than does this leech.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
He clung like a leech, dragging her closer in spite of all she 224 could do.Louisiana Lou
William West Winter
She knew both from Stephen and from the leech that this was far from being his condition.The Tavern Knight
Everything was food for the leech, but there was always the possibility of choking.
Everyone within two hundred miles of the leech was evacuated.
- an archaic word for physician
- (in combination)leechcraft
Word Origin for leech
Word Origin for leech
"bloodsucking aquatic worm," from Old English læce (Kentish lyce), of unknown origin (with a cognate in Middle Dutch lake). Commonly regarded as a transferred use of leech (n.2), but the Old English forms suggest a distinct word, which has been assimilated to leech (n.2) by folk etymology [see OED]. Figuratively applied to human parasites since 1784.
obsolete for "physician," from Old English læce, probably from Old Danish læke, from Proto-Germanic *lekjaz "enchanter, one who speaks magic words; healer, physician" (cf. Old Frisian letza, Old Saxon laki, Old Norse læknir, Old High German lahhi, Gothic lekeis "physician"), literally "one who counsels," perhaps connected with a root found in Celtic (cf. Irish liaig "charmer, exorcist, physician") and Slavic (cf. Serbo-Croatian lijekar, Polish lekarz), from PIE *lep-agi "conjurer," from root *leg- "to collect," with derivatives meaning "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).
For sense development, cf. Old Church Slavonic baliji "doctor," originally "conjurer," related to Serbo-Croatian bajati "enchant, conjure;" Old Church Slavonic vrači, Russian vrač "doctor," related to Serbo-Croatian vrač "sorcerer, fortune-teller." The form merged with leech (n.1) in Middle English, apparently by folk etymology. In 17c., leech usually was applied only to veterinary practitioners. The fourth finger of the hand, in Old English, was læcfinger, translating Latin digitus medicus, Greek daktylus iatrikos, supposedly because a vein from that finger stretches straight to the heart.