a bloodsucking leech, Hirudo medicinalis, of Europe, introduced into the northeastern U.S., usually green with brown stripes, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long: once used by physicians to bleed patients.
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Origin of medicinal leech
First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for medicinal leech
a large European freshwater leech, Hirudo medicinalis, formerly used in medical bloodletting
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