Meaning of leech


Pronunciation: (lēch), [key]
— n.
  1. any bloodsucking or carnivorous aquatic or terrestrial worm of the class Hirudinea, certain freshwater species of which were formerly much used in medicine for bloodletting.
  2. a person who clings to another for personal gain, esp. without giving anything in return, and usually with the implication or effect of exhausting the other's resources; parasite.
  3. an instrument used for drawing blood.
  1. to apply leeches to, so as to bleed.
  2. to cling to and feed upon or drain, as a leech: His relatives leeched him until his entire fortune was exhausted.
  3. to cure; heal.
  1. to hang on to a person in the manner of a leech: She leeched on to him for dear life.


Pronunciation: (lēch), [key]
— n. Archaic.
  1. a physician.


Pronunciation: (lēch), [key]
— n. Naut.
  1. either of the lateral edges of a square sail.
  2. the after edge of a fore-and-aft sail. See diag. under


Pronunciation: (lēch), [key]
  1. 1893–1974, U.S. historian, novelist, and biographer.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: