[ lich ]
/ lɪtʃ /


British Obsolete. lich.

Definition for lych (2 of 2)


or lych

[ lich ]
/ lɪtʃ /

noun British Obsolete.

the body; the trunk.
a dead body; corpse.

Origin of lich

before 900; Middle English liche body (alive or dead), Old English līc; cognate with Dutch lijk, German Leiche, Old Norse līk, Gothic leik. See like1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lych

  • Lych is the Saxon word for a dead body, from which Lich-field, “the field of dead bodies,” is derived.

    English Villages|P. H. Ditchfield
  • Another relic of this time is the panel of carved oak in the lych gate of St. Giles', Bloomsbury, dated 1638.

  • They came to the lych gate, and the crowd jostled itself in its admiration.

    Robin Hood|Paul Creswick
  • The Lych Way is still much used for bringing in turf, and for the driving out and back of cattle.

Word Origin and History for lych



also litch, lych, "body, corpse," southern England dialectal survival of Old English lic "body, dead body, corpse," cognate with Old Frisian lik, Dutch lijk, Old High German lih, German leiche "dead body," Old Norse lik, Danish lig, Gothic leik, from Proto-Germanic *likow. Cf. litch-gate "roofed gate to a churchyard under which a bier is placed to await the coming of the clergyman."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper