[ lik-ing ]
/ ˈlɪk ɪŋ /


  1. a beating or thrashing.
  2. a reversal or disappointment; defeat or setback.
the act of a person or thing that licks.

Origin of licking

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at lick, -ing1

Related forms

non·lick·ing, adjective

Definition for licking (2 of 2)

Origin of lick

before 1000; Middle English; Old English liccian, cognate with Old Saxon liccōn, Old High German leckōn; akin to Go bilaigon, Latin lingere, Greek leíchein to lick (up)

Related forms

lick·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for licking

British Dictionary definitions for licking (1 of 2)


/ (ˈlɪkɪŋ) /

noun informal

a beating
a defeat

British Dictionary definitions for licking (2 of 2)


/ (lɪk) /



Derived Forms

licker, noun

Word Origin for lick

Old English liccian; related to Old High German leckon, Latin lingere, Greek leikhein
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