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Related to leeching: Leech therapy

leech 1

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
1. To bleed with leeches.
2. To drain the essence or exhaust the resources of.
To attach oneself to another in the manner of a leech.

[Middle English leche, physician, leech, from Old English lǣce; see leg- in Indo-European roots.]

leech 2

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 Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


The use of bloodsucking leeches for medical purposes, such as drawing off blood or preventing coagulation at a wound.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
References in periodicals archive ?
Therapeutic leeching and bloodletting, incidentally, were prevalent in Britain and Europe till not that long ago.
In cases of intraoral leeching, the path to the oropharynx should be blocked with gauze to prevent leech migration into the more distal aerodigestive tract, and the perioperative tracheotomy is left in position to protect the airway [29].
"Research is still being done into other possible benefits of leeching - osteoarthritis for example - and leeches are also used by vets for hematomas following limb removal or road accidents."