[ leef ]

  1. gladly; willingly: I would as lief go south as not.

  1. willing; desirous.

  2. dear; beloved; treasured.

Origin of lief

First recorded before 900; Middle English leef, Old English lēof; cognate with Dutch lief, German lieb, Old Norse ljufr, Gothic liufs; akin to love

Other words from lief

  • liefly, adverb

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

How to use lief in a sentence

  • Hes better now, but time was when Dick would just as lief never wash from early morn till dewy eve as Father used to say.

    Betty Lee, Freshman | David Goodger (

British Dictionary definitions for lief


/ (liːf) /

  1. rare gladly; willingly: I'd as lief go today as tomorrow

  1. archaic

    • ready; glad

    • dear; beloved

Origin of lief

Old English leof; related to lufu love

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