Definition of Leech

1. Noun. Carnivorous or bloodsucking aquatic or terrestrial worms typically having a sucker at each end.

Exact synonyms: Bloodsucker, Hirudinean
Generic synonyms: Annelid, Annelid Worm, Segmented Worm
Group relationships: Class Hirudinea, Hirudinea
Specialized synonyms: Hirudo Medicinalis, Medicinal Leech, Horseleech

2. Verb. Draw blood. "In the old days, doctors routinely bled patients as part of the treatment"
Exact synonyms: Bleed, Phlebotomise, Phlebotomize
Category relationships: Medicine, Practice Of Medicine
Generic synonyms: Care For, Treat
Derivative terms: Phlebotomy

3. Noun. A follower who hangs around a host (without benefit to the host) in hope of gain or advantage.
Exact synonyms: Parasite, Sponge, Sponger
Generic synonyms: Follower
Derivative terms: Parasitic, Parasitical, Sponge, Sponge

Definition of Leech

1. n. See 2d Leach.

2. v. t. See Leach, v. t.

3. n. The border or edge at the side of a sail.

4. n. A physician or surgeon; a professor of the art of healing.

5. v. t. To treat as a surgeon; to doctor; as, to leech wounds.

Definition of Leech

1. Noun. An aquatic blood-sucking annelid of class ''Hirudinea'', especially ''Hirudo medicinalis''. ¹

2. Noun. A person who derives profit from others, in a parasitic fashion. ¹

3. Verb. (transitive) To apply a '''leech''' medicinally. ¹

4. Verb. (transitive) To drain (resources) without giving back. ¹

5. Noun. (archaic) A physician. ¹

6. Noun. (paganism) A healer in Heathenry. ¹

7. Noun. (context: nautical) The vertical edge of a square sail ¹

8. Noun. (nautical) The aft edge of a triangular sail ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Leech

1. to cling to and feed upon or drain [v -ED, -ING, -ES]

Medical Definition of Leech

1. 1. Physician or surgeon; a professor of the art of healing. Alternative forms: leach] "Leech, heal thyself." (Wyclif (Luke iv. 23)) 2. Any one of numerous genera and species of annulose worms, belonging to the order Hirudinea, or Bdelloidea, especially. Those species used in medicine, as Hirudo medicinalis of Europe, and allied species. In the mouth of bloodsucking leeches are three convergent, serrated jaws, moved by strong muscles. By the motion of these jaws a stellate incision is made in the skin, through which the leech sucks blood till it is gorged, and then drops off. The stomach has large pouches on each side to hold the blood. The common large bloodsucking leech of America (Macrobdella decora) is dark olive above, and red below, with black spots. Many kinds of leeches are parasitic on fishes; others feed upon worms and mollusks, and have no jaws for drawing blood. See Bdelloidea. Hirudinea, and Clepsine. 3. A glass tube of peculiar construction, adapted for drawing blood from a scarified part by means of a vacuum. Horse leech, a less powerful European leech (Haemopis vorax), commonly attacking the membrane that lines the inside of the mouth and nostrils of animals that drink at pools where it lives. Origin: OE. Leche, laeche, physician, AS. Lce; akin to Fries. Ltza, OHG. Lahhi, Icel. Laeknari, Sw. Lakare, Dan. Laege, Goth. Lkeis, AS. Lacnian to heal, Sw. Laka, Dan.laege, Icel. Laekna, Goth. Lkinn. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Leech Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Leech

lee shore
lee side
lee tide
leech (current term)
leech line
leech onto

Literary usage of Leech

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Pennsylvania Archives Pennsylvania Dept. of public instruction, Pennsylvania State library, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania State Library by Pennsylvania Dept. of public instruction, Pennsylvania State library, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania State Library (1899)
"242; xvi, 399 leech, Alexander, .. xvii, 852 leech, Mary, xiv, 302; xv, 316, leech, Amos, ... 466, 667, 761; xvi. 309, 540; xxii, 413, 491; xxv. 560 leech ..."

2. A History of the Earth, and Animated Natureby Oliver Goldsmith, Washington Irving by Oliver Goldsmith, Washington Irving (1854)
"OF THE leech. Tlie last of this wingless tribe that I shall mention is the leech, ... [ place the history of the leech among tin; first class of insects; ..."

3. The History of "Punch" by Marion Harry Spielmann (1895)
"... Hine—John leech—His Early Life—Friendship with Albert Smith—leech Helps Punch up the Social Ladder—His Political Work—leech Follows the "Movements"— ..."

4. The Life of Charles Dickens by John Forster (1873)
"The sea has been running Again ' very high, and leech, while bathing, ... leech has been very ill with congestion of the ' brain ever since I wrote, ..."

5. American Book Prices Current (1901)
"Illustrations by leech. London, 1846. Small 8vo, morocco extra, gilt top, uncut. With a part of the original cloth cover bound in and the Original Drawing ..."

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