leech 1 (lēch)
1. Any of various chiefly aquatic carnivorous or bloodsucking annelid worms of the class (or subclass) Hirudinea, of which one species (Hirudo medicinalis) was formerly widely used by physicians for therapeutic bloodletting.
2. One that preys on or clings to another; a parasite.
3. Archaic A physician.
v. leeched, leech·ing, leech·es
1. To bleed with leeches.
2. To drain the essence or exhaust the resources of.
To attach oneself to another in the manner of a leech.
[Middle English leche, physician, leech, from Old English lǣce; see leg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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