WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2014
lick /lɪk/USA pronunciation
- to pass the tongue over the surface of, as to moisten, taste, or eat: [~ + object]to lick a postage stamp.[no object]The cat was licking at its fur.
- [~ + object] to cause to become by stroking with the tongue:to lick a spoon clean.
- (of waves, flames, etc.) to pass or play lightly over: [~ + object]The waves licked the shore.[no object]The flames licked at the roof.
- [~ + object][Informal.]
- to hit or beat, esp. as a punishment; thrash.
- to defeat:We licked their team fair and square.
- lick up, to lap up: [~ + up + object]The cat licked up her milk.[~ + object + up]She licked it up.
- a stroke of the tongue over something:a quick lick of the tongue.
- a blow:a few licks with a cane.
- a brief, brisk burst of activity or energy.
- a small amount:haven't done a lick of work.
- Usually,licks. [plural] a musical phrase, as by a jazz soloist in improvising.
- last licks, a final turn or opportunity.
- lick and a promise, a quick and usually sloppy or not careful performance of a chore.
- lick one's lips, to move the tongue over one's lips in greedy anticipation.
- lick one's wounds, to attempt to heal or comfort oneself after injury or defeat.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
lick /lɪk/ vb
- (transitive) to pass the tongue over, esp in order to taste or consume
- to flicker or move lightly over or round (something): the flames licked around the door
- (transitive) informal to defeat or vanquish
- to flog or thrash
- to be or do much better than
- lick into shape ⇒ to put into a satisfactory condition: from the former belief that bear cubs were born formless and had to be licked into shape by their mother
- lick one's wounds ⇒ to retire after a defeat or setback in order to husband one's resources
Etymology: Old English liccian; related to Old High German leckon, Latin lingere, Greek leikheinˈlicker n
- an instance of passing the tongue over something
- a small amount: a lick of paint
- Also called: salt lick a block of compressed salt or chemical matter provided for domestic animals to lick for medicinal and nutritional purposes
- informal a hit; blow
- slang a short musical phrase, usually on one instrument
- informal speed; rate of movement: he was going at quite a lick when he hit it
- a lick and a promise ⇒ something hastily done, esp a hurried wash
'lick' also found in these entries:
In the English description: