Lief Lief, adv. Gladly; willingly; freely; -- now used only in the phrases, had as lief, and would as lief; as, I had, or would, as lief go as not. [1913 Webster]

All women liefest would Be sovereign of man's love. --Gower. [1913 Webster]

I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Far liefer by his dear hand had I die. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

Note: The comparative liefer with had or would, and followed by the infinitive, either with or without the sign to, signifies prefer, choose as preferable, would or had rather. In the 16th century rather was substituted for liefer in such constructions in literary English, and has continued to be generally so used. See {Had as lief}, {Had rather}, etc., under {Had}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lief — (l[=e]f), a. [Written also {lieve}.] [OE. leef, lef, leof, AS. le[ o]f; akin to OS. liof, OFries. liaf, D. lief, G. lieb, OHG. liob, Icel. lj?fr, Sw. ljuf, Goth. liubs, and E. love. [root]124. See {Love}, and cf. {Believe}, {Leave}, n.,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lief — may refer to:* Jacob Lief (21st century), American humanitarian * Lief Larson (born 1975), entrepreneur, futurist and technologist * The lief that you liveee also* Leaf (disambiguation) * Leif …   Wikipedia

  • lief — (lièf) s. m. Vieux mot qui signifie l action de lever, la levée d une chose. •   J ai ouï d anciens notaires et greffiers de justice de paix, dire : le lief des scellés pour la levée des scellés, LEGOARANT . ÉTYMOLOGIE    Lever. Formation… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • lief — → laufen * * * lief: ↑ laufen. * * * lief: ↑laufen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • lief — (adj.) O.E. leof dear, valued, beloved, pleasant; also as a noun, a beloved person, friend, from P.Gmc. *leubo (Cf. O.N. ljutr, O.Fris. liaf, Du. lief, O.H.G. liob, Ger. lieb, Goth. liufs dear, beloved ), from PIE root *leubh love (see …   Etymology dictionary

  • Lief — (l[=e]f), n. Same as {Lif}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lief — Lief, n. A dear one; a sweetheart. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lief — [Wichtig (Rating 3200 5600)] Auch: • ging • gingst • gingen • liefst • liefen Bsp.: • Abe …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • lief — [lēf] adj. [ME lef < OE leof, beloved, dear, akin to Ger lieb < IE base * leubh > LOVE] Archaic 1. valued; dear; beloved 2. willing adv. willingly; gladly: only in would (or had) as lief …   English World dictionary

  • lief — index readily Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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