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leech 1 (lēch)
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n.
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
v.tr.
1. To bleed with leeches.
2. To drain the essence or exhaust the resources of.
v.intr.
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.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
leech 2 (lēch)
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n.
Nautical
1. Either vertical edge of a square sail.
2. The after edge of a fore-and-aft sail.

[Middle English leche, probably from Middle Low German līk, leech line; see leig- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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