1. A bloodsucking aquatic annelid worm (genus Hirudo, class Hirudinea) sometimes used in medicine for local withdrawal of blood.For various l. species, see Hirudo. 2. To treat medically by applying leeches. [A.S. laece, a physician; a l., because of its therapeutic use]

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leech 'lēch n any of numerous carnivorous or bloodsucking annelid worms that comprise the class Hirudinea, that typically have a flattened segmented lance-shaped body with well-marked external annulations, a sucker at each end, a mouth within the anterior sucker, and a large stomach with pouches of large capacity at the sides, that are hermaphroditic usu. with direct development, and that occur chiefly in freshwater although a few are marine and some tropical forms are terrestrial see MEDICINAL LEECH
leech vt
1) to treat as a physician: CURE, HEAL
2) to bleed by the use of leeches

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a type of worm that possesses suckers at both ends of its body. Leeches occur in tropical forests and grasslands and in water. Certain parasitic species suck blood from animals and humans, and their bites cause irritation and, in some cases, infection. Rarely, leeches are taken in with foul drinking water and pass from the mouth to the nose, where they provoke headache and nose bleeds. A leech can be detached from its host by applying salt; calamine lotion eases the irritation of the bites. Formerly widely used for letting blood, the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) may now be used following microsurgery (e.g. to replace a severed finger) to restore patency to blocked or collapsed blood vessels and thus encourage the growth of new capillaries. The anticoagulants in the saliva of this and other species are being investigated for the treatment and prevention of thrombosis. See also hirudin.

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(lēch) [L. hirudo] 1. any of the annelids of the class Hirudinea. Some species are bloodsuckers that parasitize various animals. Leeches are sometimes used for drawing blood (see leeching). 2. to apply leeches.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Leech — steht für: leech, englisch für Leechen Leech Records, Schweizer Independent Plattenlabel Leech Lake, Stausee im US Bundesstaat Minnesota Leech ist der Familienname folgender Personen: John Leech (Karikaturist) (1817–1864), britischer Zeichner und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leech — /leech/, n. Margaret, 1893 1974, U.S. historian, novelist, and biographer. * * * Any annelid worm of the class Hirudinea (about 300 known species), with a small sucker containing the mouth at the front end and a large sucker at the back end.… …   Universalium

  • Leech — Leech, n. [OE. leche, l[ae]che, physician, AS. l[=ae]ce; akin to Fries. l[=e]tza, OHG. l[=a]hh[=i], Icel. l[ae]knari, Sw. l[ a]kare, Dan. l[ae]ge, Goth. l[=e]keis, AS. l[=a]cnian to heal, Sw. l[ a]ka, Dan. l[ae]ge, Icel. l[ae]kna, Goth. l[=e]kin[ …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Leech — Leech, n. [Cf. LG. leik, Icel. l[=i]k, Sw. lik boltrope, st[*a]ende liken the leeches.] (Naut.) The border or edge at the side of a sail. [Written also {leach}.] [1913 Webster] {Leech line}, a line attached to the leech ropes of sails, passing up …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • LEECH — (Heb. עֲלוּקָה, AV, JPS: horseleech ), blood sucking worm. The aphorism in the Book of Proverbs (30:15) that the leech hath two daughters: Give, give refers to the two sucking disks on its head with which it adheres to its prey and sucks its… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Leech — Leech, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Leeched} (l[=e]cht); p. pr. & vb. n. {Leeching}.] 1. To treat as a surgeon; to doctor; as, to leech wounds. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] 2. To bleed by the use of leeches. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Leech — (l[=e]ch), n. See 2d {Leach}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Leech — Leech, v. t. See {Leach}, v. t. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • leech — [li:tʃ] n [: Old English; Origin: lAce] 1.) a small soft creature that fixes itself to the skin of animals in order to drink their blood 2.) someone who takes advantage of other people by taking their money, food etc ▪ The family began to see him …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • leech — leech·dom; leech; …   English syllables

  • leech — ► NOUN 1) a parasitic or predatory worm with suckers at both ends, formerly used in medicine for bloodletting. 2) a person who extorts profit from or lives off others. ► VERB (leech on/off) ▪ habitually exploit or rely on. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

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