leach
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:

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  • Leach — Leach, n. [Written also {letch}.] [Cf. As. le[ a]h lye, G. lauge. See {Lye}.] 1. A quantity of wood ashes, through which water passes, and thus imbibes the alkali. [1913 Webster] 2. A tub or vat for leaching ashes, bark, etc. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • leach — lēch vt 1) to subject to the action of percolating liquid (as water) in order to separate the soluble components 2) to dissolve out by the action of a percolating liquid vi to pass out or through by percolation leach·abil·i·ty .lē chə bil ət ē n …   Medical dictionary

  • Leach — Leach, OK U.S. Census Designated Place in Oklahoma Population (2000): 220 Housing Units (2000): 94 Land area (2000): 6.229575 sq. miles (16.134524 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 6.229575 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Leach — Leach, n. (Naut.) See 3d {Leech}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Leach — Leach, v. i. To part with soluble constituents by percolation. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Leach — Leach, n. See {Leech}, a physician. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Leach — Leach, bei Tiernamen für William Leach (spr. lītsch), gest. 1836 als Konservator des Britischen Museums in Genua (Zoolog) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • leach — [li:tʃ] v also leach out [I and T] [: Old English; Origin: leccan to make wet ] technical if a substance leaches or is leached from a larger mass such as the soil, it is removed from it by water passing through the larger mass ▪ The manufacturers …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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