Leech Leech, n. [OE. leche, l[ae]che, physician, AS. l[=ae]ce; akin to Fries. l[=e]tza, OHG. l[=a]hh[=i], Icel. l[ae]knari, Sw. l["a]kare, Dan. l[ae]ge, Goth. l[=e]keis, AS. l[=a]cnian to heal, Sw. l["a]ka, Dan. l[ae]ge, Icel. l[ae]kna, Goth. l[=e]kin[=o]n.] 1. A physician or surgeon; a professor of the art of healing. [Written also {leach}.] [Archaic] --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

Leech, heal thyself. --Wyclif (Luke iv. 23).

2. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous genera and species of annulose worms, belonging to the order {Hirudinea}, or Bdelloidea, esp. those species used in medicine, as {Hirudo medicinalis} of Europe, and allied species. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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}. [1913 Webster]

3. (Surg.) A glass tube of peculiar construction, adapted for drawing blood from a scarified part by means of a vacuum. [1913 Webster]

{Horse leech}, a less powerful European leech ({H[ae]mopis vorax}), commonly attacking the membrane that lines the inside of the mouth and nostrils of animals that drink at pools where it lives. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Leech — steht für: leech, englisch für Leechen Leech Records, Schweizer Independent Plattenlabel Leech Lake, Stausee im US Bundesstaat Minnesota Leech ist der Familienname folgender Personen: John Leech (Karikaturist) (1817–1864), britischer Zeichner und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leech — /leech/, n. Margaret, 1893 1974, U.S. historian, novelist, and biographer. * * * Any annelid worm of the class Hirudinea (about 300 known species), with a small sucker containing the mouth at the front end and a large sucker at the back end.… …   Universalium

  • Leech — Leech, n. [Cf. LG. leik, Icel. l[=i]k, Sw. lik boltrope, st[*a]ende liken the leeches.] (Naut.) The border or edge at the side of a sail. [Written also {leach}.] [1913 Webster] {Leech line}, a line attached to the leech ropes of sails, passing up …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • LEECH — (Heb. עֲלוּקָה, AV, JPS: horseleech ), blood sucking worm. The aphorism in the Book of Proverbs (30:15) that the leech hath two daughters: Give, give refers to the two sucking disks on its head with which it adheres to its prey and sucks its… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Leech — Leech, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Leeched} (l[=e]cht); p. pr. & vb. n. {Leeching}.] 1. To treat as a surgeon; to doctor; as, to leech wounds. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] 2. To bleed by the use of leeches. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Leech — (l[=e]ch), n. See 2d {Leach}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Leech — Leech, v. t. See {Leach}, v. t. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • leech — [li:tʃ] n [: Old English; Origin: lAce] 1.) a small soft creature that fixes itself to the skin of animals in order to drink their blood 2.) someone who takes advantage of other people by taking their money, food etc ▪ The family began to see him …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • leech — leech·dom; leech; …   English syllables

  • leech — ► NOUN 1) a parasitic or predatory worm with suckers at both ends, formerly used in medicine for bloodletting. 2) a person who extorts profit from or lives off others. ► VERB (leech on/off) ▪ habitually exploit or rely on. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

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