- a beating or thrashing.
- a reversal or disappointment; defeat or setback.
Origin of licking
verb (used with object)
- to hit or beat, especially as a punishment; thrash; whip.
- to overcome or defeat, as in a fight, game, or contest.
- to outdo or surpass.
verb (used without object)
- a blow.
- a brief, brisk burst of activity or energy.
- a quick pace or clip; speed.
- a small amount: I haven't done a lick of work all week.
Origin of lick
Synonyms for lick
Related Words for lickingwhipping, lashing, drubbing, thrashing, annihilation, bashing, flogging, defeat, repulse, conquest, setback, check, trashing, blow, ruin, ambush, overthrow, beating, trimming, breakdown
Examples from the Web for licking
Contemporary Examples of licking
Tim Mathern, a longtime North Dakota state Senator came to the event thinking that it was “all about licking our wounds.”The Left’s Answer to ALEC
December 15, 2014
Marabella, now licking her lollipop and tapping her foot, appears unfazed.Even Grade School Kids Are Protesting the Garner Killing Now
December 6, 2014
Democratic pundits had spent hours licking their wounds vowing comeuppance.The Booze That Saved America
November 8, 2014
Georgia Congressman Bob Barr warned that “the flames of hedonism . . . are licking at the very foundations of our society.”Justice Kennedy Opened the Door to Same-Sex Marriage, Will He Walk Through Next?
Geoffrey R. Stone
August 3, 2014
It was pure good fortune that landed the Gathering in Licking County, a farm-strewn block of land east of Columbus.A Report From the Misunderstood Gathering of the Juggalos
July 28, 2014
Historical Examples of licking
But because it was a love-gift I ate all of it and was licking the basket-tray when Tse-tse came back.The Trail Book
Then, suddenly, he saw a great dragon, who was licking a stone.The Chinese Fairy Book
They concluded by licking the porringers, and were smeared with soup up to their eyes.The Downfall
He began to make his toilet, first licking his right-hand whiskers and then his left.Pariah Planet
And Egbert—by the living jingo, Egbert was in for a licking.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
- to defeat or vanquish
- to flog or thrash
- to be or do much better than
Word Origin for lick
"to beat," 1535, perhaps from figurative use of lick (v.1) in the Coverdale bible that year in sense of "defeat, annihilate" (an enemy's forces) in Num. xxii:4:
Now shal this heape licke up all that is about vs, euen as an oxe licketh vp the grasse in the field.
But to lick (of) the whip "taste punishment" is attested from mid-15c.
Old English liccian "to pass the tongue over the surface, lap, lick up," from Proto-Germanic *likkon (cf. Old Saxon likkon, Dutch likken, Old High German lecchon, German lecken, Gothic bi-laigon), from PIE imitative base *leigh- (cf. Sanskrit ledhi "he licks," Armenian lizum "I lick," Greek leikhein "to lick," Latin lingere "to lick," Old Irish ligim "I lick," Welsh llwy "spoon"). French lécher is a Germanic loan word.
To lick (someone or something) into shape (1610s) is in reference to the supposed ways of bears:
Beres ben brought forthe al fowle and transformyd and after that by lyckyng of the fader and the moder they ben brought in to theyr kyndely shap. ["The Pylgremage of the Sowle," 1413]
"an act of licking," c.1600, from lick (v.1). Meaning "small portion" is 1814, originally Scottish; hence U.S. colloquial sense. Sense of "place where an animal goes to lick salt" is from 1747. The jazz music sense of "short figure or solo" is by 1922.