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
In Tyson he admitted that he was addicted to “leeches,” and his downfall was his own fault.
I think Mike really did the best he could with all the leeches and the other people around him expecting him to never lose.
Sir Alexander Pepps recommended leeches to the throat: Mr. Brook disapproved of them.Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
Low cunning often held its own; hundreds of lazy leeches settled on labor's bare arm and bled it.It Is Never Too Late to Mend | Charles Reade
It was rather dangerous to bathe in some of the lagoons on account of the leeches that infested the waters.The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont | Louis de Rougemont
The next cricket season this champion was disabled by a severe sprain of the wrist, needing leeches, splints, and London advice.Life of John Coleridge Patteson | Charlotte M. Yonge
A tug and a couple of lighters were stuck against her icy sides, and, like leeches, were sucking from her what they could.Blow The Man Down | Holman Day
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