- a beating or thrashing.
- a reversal or disappointment; defeat or setback.
- licking river,
- licorice stick,
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
Examples from the Web for licking
Tim Mathern, a longtime North Dakota state Senator came to the event thinking that it was “all about licking our wounds.”
Marabella, now licking her lollipop and tapping her foot, appears unfazed.Even Grade School Kids Are Protesting the Garner Killing Now|Caitlin Dickson|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Democratic pundits had spent hours licking their wounds vowing comeuppance.
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|DAILY BEAST
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|Steve Miller|July 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Licking up the curl, the flame gradually leaped from one piece of wood to another until the entire handful was ablaze.Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal|G. Harvey Ralphson
Up till now they had faced being left behind, but this licking was too much.Aladdin O'Brien|Gouverneur Morris
After the licking I went out in the yard and saw the sun in a puddle.Mother|Maksim Gorky
Even Brigham was licking his lips and gazing at the town; and when the first bottle came out he took a long drink with the rest.Bat Wing Bowles|Dane Coolidge
The next moment he had gobbled it up and was licking his lips in appreciation.Followers of the Trail|Zoe Meyer
- 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.