[ lik-er-ish, lik-rish, lik-uh-ris ]

  1. a Eurasian plant, Glycyrrhiza glabra, of the legume family.

  2. the sweet-tasting, dried root of this plant or an extract made from it, used in medicine, confectionery, etc.

  1. a candy flavored with licorice root.

  2. any of various related or similar plants.

Origin of licorice

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English lycorys, from Anglo-French, from unattested Vulgar Latin liquiritia for Latin glycyrrhiza, from Greek glykýrrhiza “sweetroot (plant),” equivalent to glyký(s) “sweet” + rhíza “root”; see root1, -ia
  • Also especially British, liq·uo·rice .

Words Nearby licorice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use licorice in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for licorice


/ (ˈlɪkərɪs) /

  1. the usual US and Canadian spelling of liquorice

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