leech Definition

  • 1a bloodsucking aquatic or terrestrial worm with suckers at both ends. Some species are used in medicine for bloodletting purposes.
  • 2a person who extorts profit from or sponges on others.

Using leech: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "leech" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The leech attaches itself to the skin of its host and sucks blood.

  • Example

    He's a leech who always borrows money but never pays it back.

  • Example

    Leeches were once commonly used in medicine for bloodletting.

leech Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for leech

Idioms Using leech

  • stick to someone like a leech

    cling to someone closely and persistently, often in an annoying way


    He stuck to her like a leech, following her everywhere she went.

  • a person who lives off the efforts of others without contributing anything themselves


    He's a leech on society, always taking handouts and never working for a living.

  • depend on someone else for financial or other support, often in an unfair or parasitic way


    He's been leeching off his parents for years, refusing to get a job or support himself.

Phrases with leech

  • the use of medicinal leeches to remove blood from a patient's body, often used in plastic and reconstructive surgery


    Leech therapy can help improve blood circulation and reduce swelling after surgery.

  • a traditional remedy made by infusing leeches in oil, believed to have medicinal properties


    Leech oil is used in some cultures to treat skin diseases and joint pain.

  • a facility that breeds and raises leeches for medical or commercial purposes


    The leech farm supplies medicinal leeches to hospitals and clinics around the world.

Origins of leech

Old English 'lǣce', meaning 'physician'


Summary: leech in Brief

A 'leech' [liːtʃ] is a type of worm that sucks blood and has suckers at both ends. They were once used in medicine for bloodletting. The term also refers to a person who extorts profit from or sponges on others. Phrases like 'leech therapy' and 'leech oil' refer to medicinal uses of leeches. Idioms like 'stick to someone like a leech' and 'a leech on society' describe clinging or parasitic behavior.